Surgeons try to save sight of boy from Nairobi

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The Independent Online
THE FATHER of a 15-year-old boy who suffered severe eye injuries in the bombing of the United States embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, said yesterday he was praying that British doctors could save his son's sight.

Stanley Matuma, who has been unable to see since he was injured by flying glass in the blast, arrived at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and was examined by consultants.

His father, Alphonse Muranga, a civil servant for the Inland Revenue in Nairobi, said from the hospital that his son was still in shock. "I am praying that the doctors can restore his sight. I would like to thank all those who have helped to bring Stanley to Moorfields and pay the expenses."

The teenager, who is one of four children, looked tired and bewildered as he was gently guided into the hospital.

The consultant, Mr Zdenek Gregor, who has close links with Kikuyu Hospital in Nairobi where Stanley was first treated, hopes to operate on one of Stanley's eyes this week.

Alexander Heroys, the United Kingdom director of the African Medical and Research Foundation, which helped to raised funds for the teenager's trip, said: "Stanley's case is urgent and we hope his sight can be saved by the modern equipment that London can offer."

The boy was on his way to school in a packed community bus when the bomb went off. All passengers on the bus were injured. More than 250 people died in the blast on 7 August and about 5,000 were injured.

Mr Heroys said: "Most of the remaining survivors required plastic surgery. Amref surgeons and other volunteers from abroad can deal with these in Nairobi.

"The operation cannot start, however, until after Christmas as the horrific wounds must heal first.

"The plight of Stanley is a symbol of the determination of people from all walks of life, all over the world, to do something positive in a crisis."