Wiltshire

Chris James' retina implant fails leaving him unable to see

X-ray of skull showing position of chip with cable running to control unit
Image caption X-ray of skull showing position of chip with cable running to control unit

A blind man who had an implant fitted to help restore his vision says it has failed, leaving him unable to see.

Chris James, from Wiltshire, lost his vision due to a condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, where cells at the back of his eye stopped working.

A 3mm-square chip was fitted to Mr James' eye in May 2012 allowing him to see some simple close-up shapes but it no longer works.

Surgeons said they expected the chip to fail within a year.

Mr James, a motor-racing enthusiast, wanted to be able to make out the silhouettes of different cars on the race-track.

"I was hoping to be able to go down to my beloved Castle Combe racing circuit and perhaps be able to tell the difference between a saloon car and a single-seater race car," he said.

"But unfortunately I wasn't able to make out the shapes of that.

"I went into it not knowing what to expect. I can't be disappointed as, obviously, if it doesn't work for me then maybe it'll work for someone else."

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