Miami Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired is proud to have played an integral role in the remarkable story of Carmen Torres’ “bionic eye,” reported in the Aug. 1 article Letting the light in with new bionic eye. The Lighthouse’s chief program officer, Carol Brady-Simmons, and Occupational & Low Vision Therapist Raquel Van Der Biest worked with Torres after the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System was implanted at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
As the first person in Florida to receive the innovative medical device, there was no book on how to teach Torres to use the highly complicated system. It was up to Brady-Simmons and Van Der Biest to literally write it in concert with its manufacturer, Second Sight Medical Products.
Many hours were spent both in Miami and in Torres’ Tampa home, painstakingly teaching her how to position her head, her eyes and her body to take full advantage of the limited field of view afforded by the device. Van Der Biest also accompanied Torres to California to test software modifications at Second Sight’s laboratories.
All of us at the Miami Lighthouse are excited and proud that the innovative rehabilitation and therapy was an integral part of the successful outcome of this remarkable story.
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Virginia A. Jacko, president and CEO, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Miami