Jamaica: Fight over soap leaves little girl partially blind

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Jamaica: Fight over soap leaves little girl partially blind
Eight-year-old Shantavia McDonald reads a schoolbook in her community in Kingston. McDonald is left nursing an injured eye following an incident with a schoolmate at the Denham Town Primary School recently.
Eight-year-old Shantavia McDonald reads a schoolbook in her community in Kingston. McDonald is left nursing an injured eye following an incident with a schoolmate at the Denham Town Primary School recently.

(JAMAICA STAR) – When her eight-year-old daughter Shantavia McDonald came home last Thursday evening complaining of a soreness in her eye, Charnelle Barnes had no idea that the situation was serious. However, by the time her child had woken up the following day, it was evident that something was wrong. Her eyes were swollen shut. She rushed her to the doctor, where she got some shocking news – her daughter had been stabbed in the eye with a pencil and was draining fluid, which left her partially blind.

“I was at home and when she came home, she was complaining about the eye. She said that a little boy ‘jook’ her in her eye, but she did not tell me it was with a pencil. Later that day, when she woke up, the eye was swollen so much that it almost close. I took her to the nearby health centre and that was when the doctor saw it and said that this is an emergency case and I should take her straight way to the (Bustamante) children’s hospital. When I went there, the doctor told me that the pencil pierced her eyeball and it needed stitching to keep the fluid from draining out. She was admitted and the surgery done,” Barnes told THE WEEKEND STAR.

After questioning her daughter further, she was told that she was stabbed in the eye by a male student, while they were fighting over a soap at the pipe at school.

HELP WITH MEDICAL COSTS

The boy’s mother, Amoy Hayman, stated that she has been helping the family cover whatever medical costs arise, as her son is at fault.

“When I heard, mi seh: ‘Laad Jesus, mi hope seh she nuh blind,’ I said to myself that however the little girl’s mother reacted, I would stay calm because I am a mother and I have to put myself in her shoes. I said to her when she get the rest of prescriptions she should let me know.”

Curdell Daley, acting principal of the Denham Town Primary School, where the incident took place, told our newsroom that the school is willing to provide assistance to Shantavia’s family, should the need arise. She, however, pointed out, that there will be no action taken against the little boy, as it was deemed an accident.

“If there is a need, we will help. We don’t readily take things like this on because we might become liable,” she said.

In the meantime, Barnes said that her daughter is at home and is trying to remain hopeful, despite the partially blind diagnosis handed down by the doctor.

“The eye is still swollen and covered, but I will know more by later today. The doctor did say there may have to be another surgery depending on how well she is able to see. She has difficulty seeing from the eye because she would not see the big letters that they have on the charts at the doctor’s office. The doctor said this incident will affect her eventually,” she said.

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