North Carolina's first retinal prosthesis at Duke Eye Center. Larry Hester, 66, has been blind for half his life from a condition called retinitis pigmentosa. In September, 2014, an electronic stimulator was surgically implanted in his left eye. On October 1st, 2014 Duke eye surgeon Dr. Paul Hahn turned it on for the first time. While the device does not restore vision in the normal sense, it provides light-and-darkness differentiation. He's the seventh person in the United States to receive the visual aid since the device, known as the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, was approved by the FDA. Duke is only the fourth center in the country to implant the device since approval.