Girl tells of eye injury ordeal

By EMMA CORNFORD

WHEN Jessica Wright took the field for her third ever Oztag match on Monday night, she did not expect to finish the game early and be flown on an emergency flight to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle with the prospect of losing sight in one eye.

The 11-year-old, who was playing for the Q1 team, fell when she went to tag an opposition player, copping a boot in the eye.

"I went for the tag and as I did he kind of dived because he dropped the ball and I fell and his leg lifted up and kicked me in the eye. It was just an accident," Jessica said from her hospital bed in Newcastle yesterday.

"It felt like someone had grabbed and ripped out my eyeball (and) it was really badly bleeding. When I realised what had happened it hurt a lot more because I think I was in shock at first."

From there, the Year Six St Joseph's Primary School student was rushed to hospital in a family friend's car.

"The doctor put some drops in it (the eye)...and then took some x-rays and said I'd have to go down to the other hospital for an operation straight away."

The x-rays showed a fracture in Jessica's eye socket, and doctors were concerned the muscle behind the eye had hooked onto the broken bone.

If that had been the case the muscle would have quickly died, leaving Jessica with the prospect of going blind in one eye.

Because doctors would have to work quickly to remove the muscle from the bone, she was flown to Newcastle in a plane which had to stay just above sea-level, to ensure an air-bubble in her eye did not pop and cause more damage.

"I was really scared because I thought I'd have to have an operation and I might not be able to see."

But Jessica was lucky. CAT scans revealed the muscle was fine and she would not have to undergo the emergency operation.

However, she did have to stay under observation in Newcastle for another two days.

Now the Grafton representative soccer player faces a long road to recovery as she waits for the injury to heal.



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