TODAY | April 26, 2014
>>> with something of a medical marvel that feels like it's straight out of the future. a man who has been blind for nearly two decades actually starting to see again thanks to his new bionic eye . john yang has the story.
>> reporter: for nearly 15 years, roger ponce lived in a world of darkness, robbed of his sight by an incurable genetic eye disease .
>> it's scary and frustrating. myself, i just learned different ways to cope with it.
>> reporter: now thanks to cutting edge technology, he's getting some of his vision back. he can see outlines and shapes, making out his cat and, most important, his grandchildren.
>> every day, he sees something new and something new happens. so, every day, we just don't know.
>> it might be something small but something every day something new is happening.
>> he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa . sufferers gradually lose their sight. first side vision and night vergs vision and then central vision. cases that can cause near blindness. he is only the fourth person to get a high-tech implant that seems straight out of the 1970s tv series "the 6 million dollar man."
>> gentlemen, we can rebuild him. we have the technology.
>> patients wear glasses equipped with a small video camera to capture visual images. those images are converted into electrical pulses which stimulate the remaining healthy cells on the retina, which send a signal through the optic nerve to the brain allowing the patient to see the image.
>> they detect edges of objects, of people. and from that, they can figure out what it is that's in front of them.
>> reporter: roger and terri say it's nothing but a miracle.
>> what do you say to people who are giving your husband back his vision? how do you thank them for that?
>> reporter: giving him back what he thought he lost forever.
>> little by little . i'm mighty happy.
>> reporter: for "today," john yang , nbc news, chicago.