THE 11-year-old New Providence Primary School student who was allegedly blinded by a belt is steadily recuperating after surgery.
The belt was being used by a teacher, in December 2009, to discipline another student when the buckle struck Tajoery Small in the eye.
Small’s optimistic mother, Carlene Clarke, told the Observer — which broke the story — that she is happy with the pace of his recovery.
“He is all right. He is still not looking through the eye as yet, but so far he is not complaining about any pain or anything,” said Clarke, reflecting on Tajoery’s two-hour-long surgery last Monday at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.
“They (doctors) took off the bandages and did an ultrasound. They said they saw some kind of membrane in there and so they are watching it,” said Clarke. “But other than that, there has been no problem. We just have to be visiting the hospital each day to make sure that everything is all right.”
According to Clarke, young Tajoery’s only complaint is that “he wants to go home. He said that he is bored.
“Because every day is just from the hotel room to the hospital and back, so he really doesn’t get a chance to talk to his friends,” she said, adding that her son has been sleeping a lot during the days following the surgery.
He will have to wait three weeks, however, before he is allowed to travel, as per doctor’s orders.
Clarke noted, however, that she has been flooded with calls from well-wishers enquiring about his condition. “Everybody wants to know how he is doing,” she said, expressing gratitude to those persons who have called.
Clarke and her son left Jamaica on April 3 after the Cabinet agreed that the Government would fund the cost of the trip.
His surgery commenced shortly after 8:00 am Monday, with doctors working to repair the damaged cornea and lens in his left eye. According to Clarke, a secondary intraocular lens was implanted in the eye during the procedure which two local doctors declined to perform because of the high level of risk involved.
The resultant damage required extensive surgery at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew, but that bid to save his eyesight failed and Tajoery was left partially blind.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has since ruled that the teacher be charged.