Girl, 9, Hurt in Middle East Bombing Gets Artificial Eye in LA - NBC Southern California

Girl, 9, Hurt in Middle East Bombing Gets Artificial Eye in LA



    Child Who Lost Eye in Gaza Bombing Flown to LA for Treatment

    Batoul Idais, 9, from the Gaza Strip arrived in Los Angeles to start the process of getting fitted for a prosthetic eye. Batoul suffered shrapnel injuries to her stomach, hand and lost her left eye in 2009 from a bombing at her home. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. (Published Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015)

    The conflict in the Middle East hit home in Los Angeles.

    A child injured in the conflict was flown to a hospital in LA where she got eye surgery to replace one lost in a bombing in 2009 bombing and now she's on the road to recovery.

    For 9-year-old Batool Idais, it's been a week of many firsts — first time on an airplane, first trip to Chuck E. Cheese's, well deserved for this young girl from Gaza, who through her eyes witnessed so much.

    "Yeah, she was scared, petrified," said her translator, Lulu Emery, of the Palestine Children Relief Fund.

    Through her translator, Batool describes the night several years ago, when gunfire and bombs ravaged through her family's apartment.

    "She was really scared when she saw them, and she went out screaming like a crazy woman," Emery said.

    Shrapnel hit her stomach, her wrist and both her eyes. Her injuries were so severe  she was left for dead.

    Batool was lucky. One of the doctors was going through all of the bodies and victims. He looked at her and said, 'No, she's not dead.'"

    Doctors managed to remove all the shrapnel, but they could not save her left eye.

    Thanks to a non profit group called the Palestine Children's Relief Fund, Batool is getting an artificial eye, meticulously sculpted and painted to match her right eye.

    She can't see with it, but the hope is what it will do, is just as impactful.

    "It really fulfills her self image," said Sarah Haddad, of Ocular Prosthetics, Inc. "Just as important as it is to her, it is to everyone else because, unfortunately, not everybody is as accepting as we would want them to be."

    A prosthetic eye like hers costs about $3,400. It's built so that the patient can wear it for several years. In Batool's case, the clinic is picking up 100 percent of the costs.

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