EYE AP­PEAL AF­TER ‘FREAK’ AC­CI­DENTS

South Wales Evening Post - - FRONT PAGE - AAMIR MO­HAMMED aamir.mo­[email protected]­line.co.uk

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.

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