HEALTH

Brave Bin-Bin now accepts he is blind after getting new eyes

Six-year-old victim of horrific attack has new prosthetic eyes after successful surgery and is bearing up well despite traumatic event

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 November, 2013, 5:04am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 November, 2013, 7:52am

Guo Bin, the six-year-old Shanxi boy whose eyes were gouged out in a horrific attack in August, has now accepted that he has lost his vision as he bravely embraces a programme of recovery, doctors say.

The boy, known as Bin-Bin, is expected to be discharged from a Shenzhen eye hospital in two weeks after successful surgery to put in place his new prosthetic eyes. The prosthetics will give him the appearance of normal eyes, although his eyesight is gone. In September, he was given eye-socket implants in preparation for his new eyes.

Dr Dennis Lam Shun-chiu, the director of the C-MER Dennis Lam Eye Hospital, said a psychological assessment by experts showed that the gruesome attack left a lasting impression on the young boy's psyche.

"He is feeling very insecure and is easily frightened," Lam told a press conference yesterday. "He clings to his mother all the time. And he would say he is afraid of bad people."

Aside from the lasting psychological effects, the boy appeared to be physically healthy, brave and remained positive despite losing his sight, the Hong Kong doctor said.

Lam said Bin-Bin asked his mother whether his new eyes looked good, and when his mother said yes, the boy was overjoyed.

"My handwriting used to be quite beautiful when I could still see," Bin-Bin told his mother one day, according to the doctor. "The teacher always rewarded me with a little red flower."

Lam said he paused for a deep thought and continued: "Even though I cannot see now, I believe I can still get the little red flower if I work hard."

Dr Fairooz Manjandavida, who oversaw the surgery, said the new Hong Kong-made prosthetic eyes have to be taken out for cleaning once a month, and changed once a year.

In as little as six months, the boy could be trained to use a navigation device - worn on the forehead or tongue - to capture images and translate them into electronic signals for his brain, Lam added. Bin-Bin has been undertaking some basic training designed for blind people to teach him some of the skills he will need to take care of himself.

In four short videos shown by Lam yesterday, the boy's mother proudly told how he could now go to the toilet and change his clothes on his own.

She hoped Bin-Bin would be able to return to school, she said. Now that the surgery was completed, she wanted to "put the past behind them".

In the videos, Bin-Bin appeared happy and lively. He was seen cycling in the hospital, playing with toy swords with another child, hugging his mother and giving her a kiss.

The hospital has covered all of Bin-Bin's medical fees and will work together with a charity that has been set up to collect donations for his future expenses and education.

 

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