What Knowledge Can Do

Seeing the light through new eyes


Rozina Issani was born with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable disease that slowly causes blindness. At 53 years old, the Toronto resident leaped at the chance to become one of the first Canadians to receive the revolutionary Argus 2 Retinal Implant at the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute at Toronto Western Hospital.

In March 2015, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief Dr. Robert Devenyi and his team performed the surgery at Toronto Western Hospital, and Rozina said she could immediately see light and the outlines of people.

Rozina’s retinal implant has given her confidence, and she now dares to dream that she will be able to drive someday soon.

“I make a goal to see one new thing every day,” she says.

The Argus II, a retinal implant paired with special glasses, provides electrical stimulation to the retina, inducing visual perception in patients with severe retinitis pigmentosa.

“Being blind my whole life hasn’t been easy. I was fortunate to have a wonderful support network, but still, there are times it would be nice to be independent,” Rozina explains. “This was an incredible opportunity for me. It was also a chance to help advance an innovation that could help others.”

After undergoing the procedure performed by Ophthalmologist-in-Chief Dr. Robert Devenyi and his team, Rozina recovered quickly and received her new glasses. Almost immediately she could see lights and people in the room. Rozina is now able to recognize specific objects and her vision continues to improve as she adjusts.

“I am thankful to Dr. Devenyi and his surgical team and rehabilitation specialists for their wonderful care. I have been truly blessed,” Rozina said.

Rozina’s retinal implant has given her confidence and new dreams.

“I make a goal to see one new thing every day,” she says.

Watch Rozina talk about her experience.  You can also read Rozina’s article in Toronto Life.

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