MUM SAYS DAUGH­TER LOST SIGHT IN HER EYE AF­TER A STONE WAS THROWN AT HER

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - ABBY BOLTER Re­porter abby.bolter@waleson­line.co.uk

AMUM said her eight-yearold daugh­ter has lost the sight in one eye af­ter she claims a child threw a stone at her.

Sa­man­tha Bell said doc­tors told her the stone split Olivia’s left pupil and she will never see out of that eye again.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened when Olivia, from Llan­rum­ney in Cardiff, was out play­ing.

Sa­man­tha said po­lice have been un­able to take ac­tion against the child in­volved as they are un­der 10, which is the age of crim­i­nal re­spon­si­bil­ity.

But she hopes that by speak­ing out other par­ents and chil­dren will re­alise that some­thing as sim­ple as throw­ing a stone can have se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

“She has been a lit­tle trouper. She told me not to worry be­cause she has an­other eye,” said Sa­man­tha, 31, who is also mum to Eva, four.

“She was cwtch­ing me when I was in bits. She has been a lit­tle star.”

Sa­man­tha said blood poured from Olivia’s eye af­ter the in­ci­dent and she was taken to A&E at the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of Wales in Cardiff.

“I was at Bris­tol Hos­pi­tal be­cause my part­ner’s fa­ther had a brain aneurysm. I just had a phone call from my mother say­ing ‘I’m at A&E, the doc­tors said you need to get here now’.

“I got there and they told me that the dam­age is so se­vere in her eye that they might not be able to fix it. It’s gone straight through her pupil and dam­aged the back of her eye.”

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent early on Wed­nes­day evening, Olivia was taken for surgery on Thurs­day morn­ing.

Sa­man­tha said medics asked her to sign a form in case they had to re­move her daugh­ter’s eye­ball.

She said: “They man­aged to save the eye, but she is 100% blind. She spent three hours in surgery and there were eight or nine doc­tors in there work­ing to save her eye.” Sa­man­tha praised the “amaz­ing” staff at UHW who “stitched” her daugh­ter’s eye back to­gether. But de­spite their best ef­forts she said they’ve told her Olivia will only ever be able to see a bit of light and shadow with her left eye. “The only time she has cried is when she thought they would have to re­move the whole eye­ball,” said Sa­man­tha. “She knows full well she can’t see and she is just like ‘ mummy it’s OK’. “Eva has been try­ing to of­fer her eye to Olivia. She said, ‘mummy, I will give Olivia my eye’.” Sa­man­tha said Olivia will have to stay home from school for three months while the stitches re­main in her patched-up eye. “She is con­stantly hav­ing to take pain med­i­ca­tion and is suf­fer­ing from headaches now,” she said. South Wales Po­lice were con­tacted but they were un­able to pro­vide a com­ment.

RICHARD SWINGLER

Sa­man­tha Bell and her daugh­ter Olivia, aged 8. Olivia was blinded in one eye.

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