Allentown
21° F
Clear
Clear

Health Beat: Giving Devyn her baby blues back

By Melanie Falcon, Anchor / Reporter, @Melanie_Falcon, MFalcon@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 20 2013 12:21:31 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 20 2013 04:38:06 PM CST

Nearly a million children a year injure their eyes, and half of those injuries happen in the home.

BOCA RATON, Fla. -

Nearly a million children a year injure their eyes, and half of those injuries happen in the home. Scissors, running with pencils, throwing rocks, sharp corners and power tools are all to blame. The younger a child is fitted with a new eye the better.

Beautiful Devyn Santiago was fitted with a prosthetic eye at the age of just 8-months-old after she injured her eye with a toy. 

"She picked up a little army man and went to put it in her mouth and the gun went right into her eye," said Jessica Santiago, Devyn’s mother.

Like an artist, ocularist Peter Gutierrez uses oil paint to create the iris on the acrylic shell.

"Everything is done by hand. So, she sat right in front of me. I painted everything by hand," said Peter Gutierrez, ocularist, SNG Labs-SNG Prosthetic Eye Institute.

"He is always taking pictures of her eye, trying to get the exact eye color so they do match because it is a beautiful blue," Santiago said.

If Devyn had lost her entire eye, she would have been fitted with a new, specially patented magnetic prosthetic eye.

"The optical muscles are attached to it and then there is a metal piece that goes on it and a magnet to the prosthetic eye, which gives it better movement," said Gutierrez, giving little ones like Devyn their baby blues back.

"People that do know what happened look at her and they have to ask, 'Which eye is it?'" Santiago said.

As Devyn grows, she will need a new custom prosthetic eye fabricated one to two times a year. Each prosthetic costs around $3,000 and most of the time insurance will cover it with medical necessity.

DOWNLOAD and VIEW research summary

DOWNLOAD and VIEW the full-length interview with Peter Gutierrez