Saturday, 20. December 2014
04. 08. 14. - 16:00
Horrified medics treating twin boys for a severe eye infection in central China pulled inch long hypodermic needles from their brains believed to have been inserted by their mother as a 'cure'.
The two-year-old tots - Da and Xiao Long from the town of Xiyangdian, in Henan province - are suffering from keratitis, an infection of the eye that led to both boys becoming blind. When their grandfather Shi Kho, 51, took them to hospital to seek treatment, medics were astonished when scans showed tiny hypodermic needles had been pushed into their brains.
Keratitis is a painful condition in which the eye's cornea, the front part of the eye, becomes inflamed and only in extreme cases if left untreated can it cause impaired vision - blindness is almost unheard of. In this case, doctors are unsure if the blindness was caused by the needles or the disease, although they think the keratitis is more likely the cause.
Surgeons at Zhengzhou Children's Hospital removed the needles in a series of operations totalling more than eight hours.
"They are recovering well but they will probably not see again," said a spokesman for the hospital, where they are also being treated for the keratitis.
"We think the keratitis caused the blindness and the needles might have been an extremely foolish and misguided attempt at treatment," they added.
"It had been done very skilfully. Maybe their mother thought it was some way of helping like a weird kind of acupuncture, but it only made things worse. The needles were all the way in, where they would be hidden from normally view," said grandfather Shi.
"The boys' eyesight was failing and they seemed to be in constant pain. I am not sure if it was from keratitis or the misguided attempt at treatment."
Police in the province are now searching for the youngsters' mother, who is believed to have vanished when the grandfather borrowed enough money to take the boys to hospital.
The grandfather said: "My son is dim witted, so we were very lucky to find a wife for him, and were delighted when she had two healthy boys.
"We had a six day feast that cost a fortune, but it was worth it. I can only assume that she tried the needles as a cure when she saw they were crying because of their eye condition, but it was not a good thing to do, it was very wrong. She has gone on the run and now we know why. I thought she was a good girl but now I'd say she was a psychopath."
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