Local News

Teachers, Classmates Helping Blind Boy Get New Eyes

Posted October 15, 2007 6:11 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2007 12:04 p.m. EDT

— 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.