Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Allen Zderad Sees Wife for First Time in Decade After 'Bionic' Eye Implant

 / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A 68-year-old Minnesota man was able to see his wife for the first time in a decade last week after becoming the fifteenth person in the country to receive a "bionic eye" implant.

Allen Zderad's career as a chemist ended 20 years ago when his sight began to fail as a result of a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, according to a statement from the Mayo Clinic.

Raymond Iezzi Jr., a Mayo Clinic researcher and ophthalmologist, was researching the "Second Sight Argus II" retinal prosthesis system when he encountered Zderad and decided the grandfather of ten would be a good candidate for an implant. Iezzi installed 60 electrodes in Zderad's eye, which interact with a camera in Zderad's glasses and a wearable computer pack to send information to the electrodes implanted in his retina, which then sends signals straight to the optic nerve, Iezzi explained to NBC affiliate KARE.

“This is great for this family. It’s also very unusual for a scientist like me to be able to actually apply outcomes of what we've worked on for years to help a patient. That’s very special,” Iezzi said, according to a statement from the Mayo Clinic.

Zderad still can't see the details of people's faces, but he can make out forms and shapes.

And that's more than enough for him to find his wife, Carmen. “It’s easy,” Zderad told the Mayo Clinic. “She’s the most beautiful one in the room.”

IN-DEPTH

Man gets bionic eye, sees wife for first time in a decade (KARE)

SOCIAL

— Elisha Fieldstadt

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.