Blind boy happy with artificial eyes

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IOL pic dec12 china eye-gouging survivor

Reuters

Guo Bin, 6, attends his farewell party after a successful orbital implants surgery which restored his appearance but not his sight, in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province.

Hong Kong - A six-year-old Chinese boy who had his eyes gouged out was discharged from a Shenzhen hospital on Thursday, after being fitted with prosthetic eyeballs.

Guo Bin - known as Bin Bin - has made a full recovery from surgery to attach the implants, which look and move like normal eyes but will not enable him to see.

He was found covered in blood with his eyes removed near his home in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi in August after going missing while playing outside.

Chinese police suspect his aunt, who killed herself days later, was responsible amid reports of a family row.

“The surgery for his implants and eyeshell has been successful,” Hong Kong-based eye expert Dennis Lam told a press conference.

Lam had offered to treat the boy for free at his clinic in the southern mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Bin Bin's artificial eyes, consisting of the implant and the eyeshell, are attached to tissue and muscle, giving them the ability to move normally.

“Little Bin Bin's eyes do not have visual abilities, though if you look at him, he does not look any different from any other child,” Lam said, adding that it would greatly help the child's confidence.

“I am very happy,” a lively Bin Bin said at the press conference where he also danced to music for reporters.

“He can now put clothes on, brush teeth and wash his face by himself,” the child's mother told reporters.

Bin Bin, who will fly home to Shanxi on Thursday, will begin to use sensory equipment to help his movement next year.

The equipment, placed on the forehead and the tongue, will help Bin-Bin navigate as it captures images and sends electric signals to his brain.

These types of navigation devices are already in use in Japan and Europe.

Lam had previously expressed hope that the boy may eventually partially regain his sight using “bionic eyes” linked directly to the brain, but said that this technology was at least five to 10 years away.

State news agency Xinhua named the aunt as Zhang Huiying and said she killed herself by jumping into a village well, adding that police found the boy's blood on her clothes following DNA tests.

After the attack the boy was unaware that he had been blinded, the Beijing Youth Daily said.

“He asks why the sky is always dark... and why the dawn still hasn't come,” it quoted an uncle of the boy as saying.

Sapa-AFP


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