13.12.2011

Raoul Moat victim to take part in "revolutionary" vision trial

Raoul Moat victim to take part in "revolutionary" vision trial

By Alexa Kaczka

The policeman who was shot and blinded by Raoul Moat is to take part in a clinical trial which could possibly restore his vision, it has been reported.

According to the Daily Mail, PC David Rathband, 43, has asked to take part in a new type of therapy which involves using electrodes on his tongue which can have a subsequent effect on his eyesight.

PC Rathband has already been granted a conditional place by researchers but now needs to generate £16,000 in order to take part in the trial, which involves the use of BrainPort technology.

Developed in North America, it involves using the use of sunglasses with a tiny in-built camera which sends images to a handheld controller that are then pulsate on a small grid of electrodes on the tongue.

These vary according to the light level in each area of the picture being sent from the glasses, with the patient able to sense both the shape and movement of the images on their tongue, and the brain subsequently interprets as an image.

The policeman, who has two children told the Mail that he is desperate to be able to see some shadows, or even just a hint of light.

"Anything is better than nothing. It keeps me going as a bit of hope, but I'm careful not to put all my eggs in that basket. I've gone from a man who did things when I wanted to, to a man who has to depend on others to do things with me and for me," he told the newspaper.

PC Rathband was blinded by gunman Moat in July 2010 while sat in his police car and was blinded instantly.

He currently has prosthetic eyes with blue irises and is hoping that new trial can help to restore some element of his vision.

Thanks to a web campaign set up by his son Ashley, over £1,800 of the £16,000 needed for the trial has so far been raised.

by Martin Burns


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