Monday 23 September 2019

'He isn't going to rush into anything' - mother of acid attack victim doesn't know when son will return to school

Almost €8,000 has been raised for the teen on GoFundMe

Tega Agberhiere, 16, who was attacked with a corrosive substance in Waterford last week (WLR FM/PA)
Tega Agberhiere, 16, who was attacked with a corrosive substance in Waterford last week (WLR FM/PA)
Christy Agberhiere told how much pain her son Tega was in
Tega Agberhiere is believed to have been in an altercation
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

The mother of Tega Agberhiere who was the victim of a suspected acid attack in Waterford city has said she doesn’t know yet when her soccer star son might return to school or the football field.

Christie Agberhiere told Independent.ie that her son’s recovery was her priority, ensuring that his injuries did not become infected. 

“I can’t say yet, it depends how things go. With the injury, it’s important we keep treating it to prevent infection and it needs time to heal. He isn’t going to rush into anything,” she said.

Tega, an Ireland u17 footballer, was left with serious facial and eye injuries following the attack.

The 16-year-old is home from hospital but will continue weekly treatment for his burns in Cork while Waterford hospital are caring for his eyes. 

Now a GoFundMe has been set up by Anne Treacy Grogan, a local woman in Waterford who is hoping to rally the local community in support of Tega. 

Already, €7,646 of €3,000 goal has been raised. 

Christie said she didn’t know Anne before this and is extremely grateful for the random act of kindness. 

“It will be really helpful, I’m really grateful as I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me, she just set it up herself. I really appreciate everyone donating to it,” she said. 

“I pray that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. We are still in shock but he is not dead. I t is a nightmare, I can’t explain it, it is unreal,” she added. 

Anne (55) from Ballygunner in Waterford said that having a son the same age as Tega really struck a chord with her. 

“It was just such a horrible act and I have a son of the same age. The amount raised really represents what people feel about what happened to Tega,” she told independent.ie.

“He has so much potential and his injuries were hugely shocking. It’s a way of supporting him.” 

She said meeting with Christie and her husband Peter for the first time at the weekend she said they were so grateful for all the donations. 

“She has been taken aback, the support has been incredible.” 

“In a way it is an upside to an awful situation. I can't imagine the fear Tega had of losing his eyesight.” 

Meanwhile, Christie said that her son was making good progress in his recovery but he had been asking doctors when his face would be healed.

She said her biggest concern was that his eyes could be saved. 

“The skin is healing well, the doctors are happy with the progress”, she said.  

“He has asked about how long it will take for the skin to go back to normal, there is some discolouration. I told him everything will get better, it’s the eyes that are most important. He will ask questions but that is normal.” 

As a mum, she said she is pushing her own emotions to one side to ensure she is giving her son all the support he needs.

“It’s a tough one, it isn’t easy at all. I’m working and he needs support from me too. As a mother you have to think that it is about him,” she said. 

“I just want to thank everyone who has helped us, I really appreciate it.” 

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