‘America’s Got Talent’
The experimental gene therapy that Christian Guardino received may help more people suffering from hereditary blindness if it will be approved by the FDA. NBC

“America’s Got Talent” Season 12 contestant Guardino underwent experimental gene therapy several years ago to help cure his blindness.

According to the Daily Mail, the experimental gene therapy that helped improve the 17-year-old singer’s condition is now set for a possible approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On Thursday, advisers will decide on whether they will approve the same treatment to other patients suffering from hereditary blindness.

If approved, Guardino’s experimental gene therapy will be the first in the country to help cure an inherited disease. It will also be the first in which a corrective gene is given directly to a patient. According to the same publication, only one gene therapy is available in the U.S. at the moment, and it is a cancer treatment that was approved two months ago.

Guardino, a senior high school student at Patchogue-Medford High School on Long Island, first made headlines after he received judge Howie Mandel’s golden buzzer during his audition in the hit NBC reality TV competition. At that time, Guardino’s mom revealed that her son was completely blind for several years. After he received the gene therapy, his vision improved tremendously.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Guardino said that receiving Mandel’s golden buzzer was just a secondary highlight from his “America’s Got Talent” audition. He was especially thrilled to have walked on stage without needing someone else’s help and seeing the confetti falling on him.

“I walked out on that stage all by myself. I saw the judges. It was incredible,” he said. Before the treatment, Guardino described his life as “dark and without light.” “I found a way to work through it and cope with it, and that was music,” he said.

Guardino made it until the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent” Season 12. During his first live performance, Guardino was in the bottom three, but he was saved during the live Dunkin Save vote.

In the semifinals, Guardino was sent home together with mind reader Colin Cloud, robotic dancer Merrick Hanna, young singer Celine Tam, military singing group In the Stairwell and dog act The Pompeyo Family.