Eye-gouging victim Bin-Bin faces up to his brave new world with implants
Cheerful yet anxious, six-year-old Guo Bin yesterday left the Shenzhen hospital where he was fitted with eye implants after his own were gouged out near his home in Shanxi province.
Bin-Bin - as the boy has been dubbed - took off his protective glasses for the first time since his surgery.
Not only did he look as normal as any other boy his age, he can handle simple tasks with ease, such as brushing his teeth and putting on his clothes.
That was not all.
The boy who was once afraid of meeting strangers danced at the hospital's farewell party. He shook his head, waved his arms and marched in small circles to a pop song at the C-MER Dennis Lam Eye Hospital, which offered the family free medical care.
"Thank you everyone," said Bin-Bin, who was wearing a blue jumper. "Very happy," he added, when asked how he felt.
Video: Bin-Bin, the boy who had his eyes gouged out in China, leaves hospital
Bin-Bin's horrific loss of his eyes shocked the country.
His aunt allegedly abducted him as he played outside his home on August 24. He was found with his eyes gouged out, which the provincial police blamed on his aunt, who committed suicide.
After his three-month stay in Shenzhen, Dr Dennis Lam Shun-chiu, the Hongkonger who runs the hospital, said the boy had been recovering well - and not just physically.
"Bin-Bin has overcome the psychological shadow," Lam said.
Still, the youngster not surprisingly appeared anxious as he prepared to leave.
"Auntie, auntie, where are you?" Bin-Bin kept yelling in the car, before it headed to the airport for his return home.
He was looking for a special hospital staff member who had accompanied him throughout his ordeal.
"Auntie Liu is here," the staff member said. "I'll go to Shanxi with you. Don't worry."
Bin-Bin chose to leave behind bags of donated toys for other children at the hospital, although he kept a toy electronic piano.
Expressing gratitude to the hospital and Shenzhen residents, his mother, Wang Wenli, said she was glad her son appeared to have adapted to his situation after the harrowing experience.
He is expected to return to school after returning to his home in Taiyuan, but his parents want to find out which special needs school best suits him and authorities have pledged to help them.
Video: China's Bin-Bin dances before the cameras as he leaves hospital
In about six months the Guo family is due to return to Shenzhen - which Bin-Bin's mother called "their second home" - at which time the little boy's prosthetic eyes will be changed.
He will also learn to master a navigation device - to be worn on his forehead or tongue - that captures images and translates them into electronic signals that are sent to the brain.
When he is 16 - if technology is sufficiently advanced - it is hoped he will be fitted with electronic eyes that would enable him to see light and shapes through signals sent to his optic nerves.
Additional reporting by Lo Wei