Iraqi boy has eye op; doctors hopeful

Japanese doctors hoping to restore sight to a 10-year-old Iraqi boy’s left eye have completed surgery on the eye and believe it might regain some of its sight in a few months, a hospital spokesman said Friday.

Mohamad Haytham Saleh arrived in Japan last week on a trip arranged by a Japanese photojournalist who was killed last month in Iraq.

Two operations performed on Saleh in Iraq failed to restore sight to his left eye, which was pierced by glass shards during a gunbattle in Fallujah in November. His right eye was not harmed in the clash.

Friday’s operation took about 30 minutes, said hospital spokesman Koichi Suzuki.

At the weekend, Saleh’s doctors in Japan said they hoped he would be able to see with his left eye after the operation, but were reluctant to say how much sight he would recover.

A Rotary Club in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, agreed to sponsor the boy and pay for his medical care.