EYE APPEAL AFTER ‘FREAK’ ACCIDENTS
NINE-YEAR-OLD Taylor Jay was playing with his siblings Toni, 16 and Jayden, 11, at home just like any other day.
But an incident involving a bow and arrow would change his life forever.
The elastic band on the toy broke and the arrow struck back and hit him in his eye.
He was only three years old but Taylor suffered excruciating pain and was taken to hospital, before finding out he was blind in one eye.
Then, this year, he was involved in another accident, also involving a toy weapon and, by freak chance, the same eye once more, meaning his eye ball had to be removed entirely.
His mother Stacey Anne, 35, from Swansea, looks back at the situation with anger and describes it as an “utter disaster.”
Speaking about the first incident, she said: “It was a freak accident. I was there with my three children and everything just happened in a flash.
“I didn’t know what to do so I called a taxi as there were no ambulances available and took him to Morriston Hospital, who then transferred him to Singleton Hospital.”
The family were told Taylor had a scratch in his eye but the true extent was revealed when specialist doctors in Bristol confirmed he had been blinded.
“He had a number of infections so we had to stay in Bristol for six weeks, where he was being operated on. It was tough knowing he’d be blind in one eye but we just got on with it, we had no choice,” said Stacey.
“It really affected his confidence, especially in school as he can’t take part in sports. At home we continue to support him and tell him how beautiful he is.
“At home he has many bumps and bruises, where he’ll walk into things. It’s so painful seeing him like this but I don’t want him blaming himself. I blame myself but I’m not a bad mother, it was just a freak accident.”
Taylor has been blind in his left eye for the past six years but the second incident this year left him needing a prosthetic eye.
He was at home with family and friends when someone shot a toy gun at his damaged eye, injuring it even further.
Stacey added: “I was downstairs plaiting hair while the kids were playing upstairs.
“I heard a devastating scream and my heart sunk, I couldn’t even go to see him, I sent my partner as I knew something had happened.”
His eye was full of blood, leading to a build up of pressure in his eye. A specialist told the family Taylor risked losing sight in both eyes, and had no option but to remove the damaged one.
“Wherever we go people are staring at him and whispering about his eye. In school he is constantly bullied and people call him ‘Popeye,’ that really hurts, why should he be treated different?”
Stacey said the incidents had taken a huge toll on her life and her anxiety levels were constantly high.
“I really don’t want people thinking I am a bad mother,” she said.
“What are the chances of an accident happening twice in the same eye?”
“I am constantly worrying for him and what will happen next, it has just been one big emotional rollercoaster. My anxiety is through the roof, I’m depressed but I’ve got to get on with things.
“I hope people understand how much he needs this prosthetic eye.”
Stacey is now travelling to Nottingham with Taylor to see a private ocular prosthesis specialist to get a more realistic prosthetic eye made for him.
She has set up a Gofundme page to help raise £2,500 to make it possible.
Taylor Jay was left blind at the age of three and, left, had to have his eye removed after the second accident on the same eye. Below, Taylor with his mother Stacey Anne.