RAEFORD — One Raeford boy will never know what it is like to watch cartoons or see his mother's smile. Samuel Sosa was born with a disease that forced doctors to removed his eyes, and now, a Hoke County community is trying to improve his way of life.
At 14 months, Samuel is learning to smell, hear and feel the world around him, even though all he sees is darkness.
"To look into the eyes of a child and to see a child with no eyes, now this is something we've had to overcome," Shelly Daniels of the Children's Development Center says.
When he was 4 months old, doctors diagnosed Samuel with a condition that produced cancerous tumors in his eyes. Last November, they had no choice but to remove them.
"Anybody that can see him, if they don't want to help, I don't know why they wouldn't," Daniels says.
Caring for a child like Samuel takes a lot of creativity. When he gets a little fussy nurses at the Children's Development Center console him with the scent of his mother's blouse or the tunes of his favorite Spanish lullaby.
Samuel's mother, Martha Cantor, does not speak English, but tells us through an interpreter she treats her son no differently than his 4-year-old sister Adrianna, and she wants others to do the same.
She says she feels bad when they go to the store and people are looking at him she wants him to try to look normal.
Because Samuel was born in Mexico, his parents have no medical insurance for him and he does not qualify for public assistance.
However, Hoke County's Smart Start and the Children's Development Center are raising money to help him get prosthetic eyes and a chance at a normal childhood. If you would like to help, donations to the Samuel Sosa Eye Fund can be sent to :
Smart Start PO Box 1209 Raeford, NC 28376 or you can call 910-904-5452