Action 13 Angels save boy's eyesight

August 29, 2008 4:39:51 PM PDT
A collision with a soccer ball nearly caused a Houston school boy to go blind. But as the new school year starts, he can clearly see the blackboard. Action 13 Angels helped save his eyesight. "He could have lost his eye," said Dr. Paul Salmonsen.

When Action 13 Angel Dr. Salmonsen saw Chris Colocho, he was so worried the 12-year-old would go blind that he immediately scheduled him for surgery. Chris was hit in the eye during a soccer game with friends, but was afraid to tell his mom what had happened. She had no idea the blow nearly crushed Chris' eye.

He recalled, "I couldn't see, I saw all blurry."

How bad were Chris' eyes? He wasn't able to read perfectly or see anything. He had trouble seeing the board.

Chris' reading teacher, JoAnn Dockins, realized something was wrong.

"I noticed Chris was squinting and couldn't see," she said. "So I moved him from the middle to the front row and he continued doing the same thing."

She contacted the school nurse to give him an eye exam.

"He failed the test real badly," explained school nurse Claire Middleton. "We called the Action 13 Angels because this student seemed to need more help."

Chris desperately needed surgery his mom couldn't afford. But his needs were taken care of by Action 13 Angel, eye surgeon Dr. Salmonsen.

"That blunt trauma to the eye caused a tear in the retina and that could lead to a retinal detachment and that could lead to loss of vision," Dr. Salmonsen said. "To prevent a retinal detachment we lasered, or sealed off that tear, and he's doing fine."

Dr. Salmonsen is part of the Houston Eye Associates Foundation. It's one of the charities that benefits from the Marvin Zindler Memorial Golf Tournament. The foundation steps in if you don't have medical insurance and can't afford treatment, or if you've been denied assistance.

As for Chris, the future is clear.

" I don't see blurry any more," he said.

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