Date
19 November 2017
Guo Bin, pictured here with his Hong Kong-based doctor Dennis Lam, is now able to navigate his surroundings with the help of sensory equipment after receiving artificial eyes last year. Photo: Now TV
Guo Bin, pictured here with his Hong Kong-based doctor Dennis Lam, is now able to navigate his surroundings with the help of sensory equipment after receiving artificial eyes last year. Photo: Now TV

Chinese boy learns to ‘see’ the world with artificial eyes

A Chinese boy from Shanxi province who was fitted with prosthetic eyes last year after suffering a horrific crime is making good progress in adapting to a new life.

Guo Bin is now able to navigate his surroundings with the help of advanced sensory equipment. He can walk on the playground, show directions and recognize numbers and Chinese characters, AM730 reported Friday. The boy, who is now aged 7, will join a school for the blind in Wuhan next month.

Dennis Lam Shun-chiu, the Hong Kong eye doctor responsible for Guo Bin’s surgery, said recovery is progressing well and that the boy looks no different from an ordinary kid. Guo will play games with other children, forgetting the ordeal he went through earlier. 

In a crime that horrified the world, Guo was kidnapped in August last year and had his eyes gouged out. Chinese police later said they believe his aunt was behind the kidnapping due to a family row.

Following the shock incident, Hong Kong-based eye surgeon Lam had offered to treat Guo for free at his clinic in the southern mainland city of Shenzhen.

On Dec. 12, the boy was discharged from hospital after receiving artificial eyes that looked almost real. Doctors, meanwhile, also ordered sensory equipment to help Guo make out his surroundings in the rehabilitation going forward. 

The equipment, placed on the forehead and the tongue, will help the boy, also known as Bin-Bin, navigate as it captures images and sends electric signals to his brain.

Guo went to Beijing last month for training on use of the new equipment, helping him visualize his surroundings. 

On Thursday, Guo demonstrated the equipment, showing that he can recognize things including balls, fingers, lines, directions and some characters. 

Lam said the equipment was procured from the United States and it cost about 86,000 yuan (US$13,964). The manufacturer might push forward a new generation of the equipment in a year or two to improve the quality, he said.

Patients should not use the equipment for more than four hours at a stretch, according to the AM730 report.

Guo Bin’s mother said the boy will receive further training on the equipment early next year after he learns more words at school. Guo intends to complete an undergraduate degree and help others who are in need, she said.

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