Tyne & Wear

PC David Rathband hopes to 'see' with tongue

PC David Rathband
Image caption PC Rathband was shot by Moat as he sat in his patrol car

The PC blinded by gunman Raoul Moat is hoping that pioneering equipment will enable him to "see" using his tongue.

David Rathband has been selected to be trained to use a BrainPort device, which consists of sunglasses fitted with a hand-held video camera.

It sends pictures on to a postage stamp-sized grid of electrodes placed on the tongue, which pulsates according to the light level in each area.

The user then learns to interpret the sensations as a visual image.

Mr Rathband was shot in the face and shoulder from point-blank range with a shotgun as he sat in his marked police car in Denton Burn, Newcastle, on 3 July 2010.

The 43-year-old, from Cramlington, lost his sight and has been fitted with prosthetic eyes.

His family has set up a campaign to raise the £16,000 necessary for the BrainPort device, its maintenance and the required training.

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