China eye-gouge case: Boy receives prosthetic implants

Wang Wenli: "Maybe that day when it happened if I called him back earlier that wouldn't have happened"

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The Chinese boy whose eyes were gouged out in an attack in August is recovering from surgery which completes the process of implanting prosthetic eyes.

Guo Bin has undergone a series of operations for him to have prosthetic eyes to give him a natural appearance. These will not restore his vision.

His mother, Wang Wenli, told the BBC they "had to try everything".

He was found with his eyes missing, covered in blood in Shanxi last August.

Police suspected his late aunt was responsible for gouging his eyes out. Six days after the incident, she reportedly killed herself by jumping into a well. Her motive for the attack remains unclear.

Analysis

Bin Bin, as he is known to friends and family, is an energetic, outgoing and cheerful boy, despite suffering an unimaginably cruel attack in August.

His new prosthetic eyes cannot restore his sight.

But they look natural and will help him to fit in with other children.

During a visit at the private Shenzhen hospital where he is being treated free of charge, Bin Bin told me of his dreams of becoming a police officer.

Those dreams may be far-fetched given his disability.

For now, his family want him to focus on being happy, and enjoying a childhood that was almost completely taken away from him.

"If there is any hope at all of him being able to regain his sight, even if it is very limited, then I have to try everything," the boy's mother, Wang Wenli, told the BBC on Friday in Shenzhen, where the boy was being treated.

"My dream is for him to see just a little light. Not to always live in darkness".

Guo Bin's operation to prepare for prosthetic eye implants began in September.

A spokesman for his doctor Dennis Lam, who is volunteering his services for free, said at the time the boy would receive implants similar to artificial eyeballs to give volume to the eye in order to fit an eye shell.

After a recovery period, prosthetic eyes could then be attached. These will be then connected to tissue and muscle for movement. Sensory devices that generate electronic signals to help him identify shapes could then be fitted.

Dr Lam had said he hoped Guo Bin could benefit from the further development of electronic eye technology directly linked to the brain - something he said was at least five to 10 years in the future.

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