Monday 20 February 2017

Jacob has eye surgery as aid cash pours in

Published 16/03/2010 | 05:00

A LITTLE boy born without eyes yesterday underwent major surgery in a German clinic, as an Irish fundraising campaign on his behalf continued to draw huge support.

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Seven-month-old Jacob Nowak underwent the procedure as his parents, Mariusz (29) and Wiola (29) announced they were "totally shocked" by the flood of gifts and donations triggered by an Irish Independent article last week on his plight.

Within 72 hours of Jacob's story being published, the Nowak family had been offered more than €20,000 in donations and supports.

It is hoped almost €100,000 can be raised for Jacob by the time his third surgery is required.

Jacob suffers from an exceptionally rare condition whereby his eyes never formed in their sockets before his birth.

The condition -- known as anophthalmia -- affects only one in 100,000 children but, in Jacob's case, it left him without either eyeballs or optical nerves.

Jacob's parents are Polish nationals who have been living and working in Millstreet, Co Cork, since 2006.

"The last operation which Jacob had in November was to put in hydro-gel 'extender' implants to allow for the development of his skull and eye sockets," Mariusz explained.

Yesterday, Jacob had those extenders replaced -- and his prosthetic eyes will be checked.

Irish Independent

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