NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - A southwest Florida prosthetist is offering to provide an artificial eye to a 3-year-old Mississippi girl mauled by her grandfather’s pit bulls.
Victoria Wilcher is scheduled to fly to Naples next week for a preliminary examination with Raymond E. Peters of the Center for Custom Prosthetics.
Peters has been making artificial eyes for 50 years. “This child has a high hill to climb,” he told the Naples Daily News (http://bit.ly/1m08xzl ).
Peters will make a mold for a custom-fitted eye, which a Las Vegas physician will attach in a later surgery, and he will paint the artificial eye’s iris by hand.
Children such as Victoria need a few fittings a year because they’re growing and their faces can become distorted if the molds don’t keep pace with their growth, Peters said. An artificial eye can cost up to $4,500.
“These products can make a person whole again. They can walk out in public and not hang their heads,” Peters said.
Victoria was mauled by three pit bulls in April at her grandfather’s home. She lost her right eye and suffered multiple facial fractures.
Victoria’s family has said the girl was asked to leave a KFC restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi, because her scars disturbed customers. The restaurant chain said an investigation concluded there was no proof that any employee asked her to leave, but it did pledge $30,000 to help pay Victoria’s medical bills.
An attorney for the family said Wednesday that they stand by their claim and want the donation given to the foundation of the Las Vegas doctor who will work on her face.
Peters said the dispute hasn’t deterred him from wanting to help Victoria.
“I’ve always been a giver, a helper,” he said. “You get more gratification out of that than taking.”
Information from: Naples (Fla.) Daily News, http://www.naplesnews.com