Prosthetic eye gives teenager reason to smile

Al Jedeili brought to an eye hospital in Dubai for procedure after Israeli strike on Gaza home inflicts injury.

  • By Dina Aboul Hosn, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 October 2, 2010
  • Gulf News
Grateful grin

    * Abdul Hadi beams with gratitude after Dr Paul Geelen (centre) fits his eye socket with a prosthesis. * Image Credit: Oliver clarke/Gulf News

Dubai: When Palestinian teenager Abdul Hadi Al Jedeili lost his eye in an Israeli strike on his Gaza home in 2009, he thought he’d never live a normal life.

However, the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), which brought Khalil to the UAE to be fitted with a prosthesis, extended a helping hand to Abdul Hadi as well.

Gulf News recently published the story of Khalil Al Jedeili, Abdul Hadi’s brother, who lost his legs in the same attack. The two also lost a brother. Abdul Hadi Al Jedeili was referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, the branch of the famous Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, for treatment, where he was fitted with an artificial eye prosthesis — a procedure which is not possible in Gaza.

Al Jedeili, a 17-year-old from Al Buraij refugee camp in Gaza, was admitted to a government hospital in Gaza in January 2009 with a serious facial injury caused by an explosive device, which led to the loss of his left eye. He underwent surgery to install an artificial eyeball in his eye socket and attach it to the eye muscles.

No facilities

As there are no facilities in Gaza to treat such a serious injury or to fit an eye prosthesis, the PCRF decided to refer Abdul Hadi Al Jedeili’s case to Moorfields, which has treated similar cases for the PCRF.

The PCRF UAE Chapter, an international humanitarian relief and medical charity, arranged the logistics of bringing Al Jedeili to the UAE, including the processing of his visa, his travel and accommodation.

Dr Andrea Sciscio, Consultant Oculoplastic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, conducted an examination of his socket to ensure that his new artificial eye fitted properly and was comfortable, and Paul Geelen, Ocularist at Moorfields, prepared the artificial eye by carefully molding and sculpting the prosthesis into the shape of his eye socket.

In the final stages he painted the artificial eye, which fits over the prosthesis eyeball and matches his other natural eye.

Commenting on the case, Dr Sciscio said the prognosis for Al Jedeili is good because there appears to be little or no bone damage to his eye socket or to the surrounding tissue.

This means he won’t have to wait to have an operation on his artificial eye, as there’s no repair work to be done to the face or the eye socket beforehand.

“We expect him to make a good recovery and to be able to live a very normal life after the treatment,” he said.

Real appearance

Dr Sciscio explained that once the eye is fitted, it will be hard to tell that it’s not real.

It also requires very little care and is best left alone, except that it should be washed thoroughly. Al Jedeil also needs to take care if taking part in physical activity.

“Since one-eyed people lose their 3-D vision, there’s a tendency for them to bump into things, which may injure their one healthy eye. We advise them to protect this eye by not taking part in contact sports and if they exercise, they should wear protective spectacles,” the doctor said.


  1. Avatar for dahlia archer dahlia archer on October 18, 2010 at 3:21 am

    dear dr paul geelen, the work that you are doing is wonderful.i wish we had facilities and doctors like you here in jamaica. on the 1st of april of this year, i was attack at my home by gunmens and shot the bullet was to my face but the bullet only damage my right eye,i have not done a prosthesis as yet,am so scared of looking weird.out here when u go to the eye doctors you cant get a proper prosthesis to match your other eye. i stay up night up night wondering what to do,i know i would get the service i need aboard but i cant afford it. continue to do your good work, god bless you always.

  2. Prosthetic eye | JfndeSign on December 11, 2010 at 4:01 am

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