BEIJING (AP) - A 6-year-old Chinese boy whose eyes were gouged out was receiving implants at a hospital Tuesday in southern China from a Hong Kong surgeon who volunteered his services after learning about the brutal attack.
The implants are a precursor to fitting Guo Bin - known as Bin Bin - with prosthetic eyes that will look and move more like normal eyes, but which do not restore vision. Doctors at the C-MER (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital also plan to fit Bin Bin with navigation sensors that would allow the boy to get around on his own in familiar places.
"As his parents, we are full of hope," said the boy's father, Guo Zhiping. "We have yet to tell him that his vision would be lost forever."
A personal assistant to Dr. Dennis Lam Shun-Chiu said the surgery to fit the boy with orbital implants started Tuesday afternoon at the private hospital. If the operation is successful, the doctors will fit the boy with cosmetic eye shells, Inggie Ho said.
Many questions surrounding the Aug. 24 attack remain unanswered.
Police in the boy's home province of Shanxi say they suspect the boy's aunt gouged out his eyes. But they have not identified a motive and the woman has since committed suicide. The boy's relatives have said they don't believe she could have carried out the attack.
Guo said the family does not think the police report is credible, because the aunt, who was working in a local factory, would have had no time to commit the crime. News reports have suggested family disputes, but Guo said Tuesday that there has been no dispute between him and his brother, or the boy's uncle.
Guo said Bin Bin and the family arrived in Shenzhen on Sunday and would stay there as long as needed.
The flight to Shenzhen excited the little boy, Guo said.
"He had never traveled in a plane before."