Local News

Teachers, Classmates Helping Blind Boy Get New Eyes

Posted October 15, 2007
Updated October 16, 2007

— A 7-year-old Raeford elementary-school student has won the hearts of everyone at his school.

Cancer forced doctors to remove Sammy Sosa's eyes when he was 8 months old. Despite his disability, friends said Sammy gets around remarkably well. However, he has outgrown his prosthetic eyes.

"They're gonna change them and make them big,” Sammy said.

"To meet him once is to love him,” teaching assistant Jacqueline Buller said. "I feel like he's my child."

Teachers at J.W. McLauchlin Elementary School are raising money to help his family pay for the new eyes.

"When the eyes are not correctly fitted, the face develops a sunken-in look. The cheekbones don't develop and the eye sockets don't develop,” said Braille teacher Deb Lapoliche.

Not only does the face not grow, but eyes that are too small tend to fall out. It happened to Sammy twice at school last year.

"He [Sammy] didn't cry, like he normally does. He just said, 'They fell out again, Miss Buller,'" Buller said.

A set of prosthetic eyes cost about $4,000, but Carolina Eye Prosthetics is giving Sammy a half-off discount. Sammy will need a new pair every few years as he grows.

If you would like to donate money to help Sammy, call J.W. McLauchlin Elementary School at 910-875-8721 or mail donations, designated to the Samuel Sosa Fund, to the school at 326 N. Main St., Raeford, N.C.  28376.


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  • GroupOfPricklyPears Oct 16, 2007

    If you are so inclined to help Sammy Sosa get new eyes, please mail you contribution to J.W. McLaughlin Elementary School, 326 North Main Street, Raeford, NC 28376 and write "for Sammy's eyes" on the memo line of your check. The NC Lions Club Foundation has a matching fund program. I am waiting for contact information from them for the Raeford area and will share the information with the school. It is so encouraging reading the responses from you all on the WRAL comments board. Thanks again WRAL for making such a positive difference in our communities. I believe we can make this happen! :-)
    Keep the faith.

  • Justin T. Oct 16, 2007

    O.K. I must admit that I now officially do not have any REAL problems. This is truly sad and a good story to put things in perspective.

  • headlong Oct 16, 2007

    He is so cute...I am calling and donating!!! Anything for help of a child I am for!!! I also forwarded the story to a few Church people I know. I told my girls about it and suggested their schools raise money for him.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 16, 2007

    I called the contact number in this story: you can mail donations to:
    JW McLaughlin Elementary
    326 North Main Street
    Raeford, NC
    Attn: Samuel Sosa Fund

  • vernnc2 Oct 16, 2007

    I'm a Lion's CLub member and we'll see what we can do to assist this wonderful young man!

  • vernnc2 Oct 16, 2007

    I'm a member of the Lion's Club and I've made calls to a couple of leaders. We'll see what we can do to assist this wonderful young man.

  • Rocknhorse Oct 16, 2007

    THIS is a great story and very news worthy! What a great kid! What a terrific community/school! THIS is what we should be focussing on. Helping those in need!

  • ECU_chick Oct 16, 2007

    My goodness that touched my heart...I am going to try to help this little boy...

  • just my2cents Oct 16, 2007

    I have a son who is partially blind, but does have some vision. How heartbreaking it would be to not be able to get my son new eyes as he needed. I will contribute to this great cause, and I do hope carities such as the Lions Club has been contacted. They are a wonderful organization who helps with vision/eye related health.
    Just wondering, but anybody else catch his name? Surely, he'll always get a little extra attention! :o)

  • NCTeacher Oct 16, 2007

    The area Lions Club should definitely be contacted. They are very good at fundraising.