Artificial eye for rape victim (8)
HER EYE WAS GOUGED DURING ATTACK: This is her second, the first didn't fit properly and she was being teased at school
An 8-year-old girl, whose eye was gouged out when she was raped, has a new artificial eye, the Witness newspaper reported on Friday.
“She didn’t want to take the eye out again, and wanted to return to school as early as [today, Friday],” said Rita Khuzwayo, a preacher who had taken pity on her.
The final fitting of the eye was done on Thursday.
The eye was made because she was teased at the new school she attends because her previous artificial eye was too small for her socket.
She was taken to the Durban University of Technology where Peter Furber, an ocularist, made a more precise-fitting artificial eye.
In April, she was dragged into a sugarcane field, raped, and her left eye gouged out.
A 15-year-old boy was arrested for the crime.
The case against him is pending in the Mtunzini Magistrate’s Court.
MHLABA MEMELA and NIVASHNI NAIR report that the little girl, from the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, is now so afraid of men that the man behind her prosthetic eye could not work on her without her guardian.
The child is also so scared that she refuses to play with boys.
“When you meet the little girl, she is fantastic. But she does not trust anyone and we had to work on her with her guardian. It took me a lot of time to finish the process because of her traumatised situation. I had worked on a number of cases with a number of children but this case was traumatic for me as well,” Furber said.
The child and her guardian travelled to Durban on Monday after an optician requested that Furber create an eye to “help restore the girl’s dignity”.
Furber and the girl were impressed with the prosthetic eye yesterday when she was ready to leave to go back to Gingindlovu.
“Children used to laugh at her and make gestures which made fun of her eye - but now one can’t even see that she has a prosthetic eye. Both her eyes look the same and there is movement,” her guardian said.
Furber said the artificial eye has 85% movement and in two years time, the girl will have to return for him to create a new eye as her socket is still growing.
“An impression of the empty socket was taken. This was necessary to create an exact replica. Once the eye impression was taken, the final model was then made,” said Furber.
“To ensure that the iris colour of the artificial eye matches that of the patient’s right eye was of utmost importance. The eye was built in wax which was then be transferred to acrylic. After that, the white part of the eye and the veins were painted and we put a final layer of acrylic and the eye was ready”.
- The child, who had been living with her grandmother when she was attacked, has since moved in with her guardian and attends a boarding school elsewhere in KZN, as her elderly woman is too traumatised to take care of her.