As if 10-year-old Nandesh Nardeo had not suffered enough at age one when he was burnt with a steel wool, he recently lost sight in one eye when he was injured with a fishing hook.
Around 4 pm on August 11, Nandesh of Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice and his brothers were fishing when another
boy came and playfully spun the hook. It connected with the inside of his left eye, causing it to bleed slightly.
The boy screamed in pain and ran home to tell his mother, Tracy Roberts, 32, who was tending to her newborn twin boys at the time.
She gave him medication for the pain and told him to relax. When the pain eased she felt he would be ok. But later that night the pain started again and the eye became swollen.
Early the next morning, Roberts took him to the Mahaicony Hospital. He was treated and referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) where he underwent emergency surgery. He spent one week at the hospital recovering.
During his follow-up visit to the clinic on August 29, the doctor advised his mother not to send him to school as yet. He was ordered to “rest the eye” as too much strain may cause the other eye to be affected.
Nandesh, a Grade Five student at the Lachmansingh Primary is unable to keep the eye open during the day because the glare would affect him more.
Roberts said the child performs well at school and brought fifth in his class with 86 percent at his last test. She is “grieving” that he is unable to attend school “because he would drop back a lot.”
When she visited the school to inform his teacher about his misfortune the teacher was sorry and noted that he was always a bright child who loves to “ask a lot of questions.”
The mother of the other boy visited the child on two occasions and expressed regret for what happened.
Roberts is not expecting compensation from her because she recently became a widow and she too is struggling with her life.
Meanwhile, she recalled vividly when Nandesh’s feet were burnt on October 13, 2004 as he lay sleeping on his bed.
Around 7:30 pm, a youth from next door, at the height of the Diwali celebration, spun a lighted steel wool he had attached to a piece of wire.
The flames from the steel wool passed through an open window of the child’s bedroom and fell on the mattress. It immediately caught afire and Nandesh’s feet were burnt in the process, with the left one suffering the worse injuries.
His father, Fizul, a labourer was preparing to go to the outdoor bathroom when he noticed the flames in the room.
He ran upstairs and grabbed Nandesh and ensured he was out of harm’s way before throwing the burning mattress out the window.
The child was rushed to the Fort Wellington Hospital where was treated and sent away. The following morning when he returned for “dressing” he was transferred to the GPH.
He was unable to walk flat on his feet until two successful surgeries were performed.
The first surgery was done at the GPH, through the support of businesswoman, Michelle Rambarran and the other at the St. Joseph’s Hospital through the United Women for Special Children.
Roberts, who also has six other children is distressed that her son has gone through so much at such a tender age.
She is praying that he would be able to see again but knows that ‘it might take a long time. If he loses his sight, I would have to look him.”