Eye operation for teenage shooting survivor

Ethan Meyer, 14, and his mother Hilda Cupido-Seale from Lentegeur.

Gang violence in the community continue to affect young lives, as Ethan Meyer, 14, who was shot in the right eye while roller-blading, can attest.

His mother, Hilda Cupido-Seale from Lentegeur, said she came from church when she heard neighbours calling to her, saying Ethan was shot. Ethan and Chelsea Jansen, 10, were both hospitalised after a shooting in Haakdoring Street, Lentegeur on Sunday August
5, during which a 22-year-old
man was also injured (“Another bloody weekend”, Plainsman, August 8). “His head was shot open, touching the eye. We rushed him to the hospital immediately,” she said.

The family received the bad news that his eye was severely damaged and that his eye would have to be removed – all this three days before his birthday on August 8.

However, tomorrow, Thursday October 4, Ethan will undergo an operation to fit an artificial eye. Although Ethan’s sight will pnot be restored, doctors will strive to make it look as natural as possible, said Ms Cupido-Seale. “He keeps asking me how many days until the operation,” she said.

Ms Cupido-Seale said what was worrying was that Ethan has not received counselling after his harrowing experience. “It is important for Ethan to receive counselling, to speak about his experience and how to heal from that.”

Ms Cupido-Seale, and her husband Pastor Stephen Seale have been living in Lentegeur for 40 years and she never thought this would happen to one of her children. “Drugs, alcohol, is the norm of the day, what can we do? We talked and we prayed. I am disgusted, saddened and hurt to see children that you’ve seen grow up before you, turning to crime and violence. God will deal with those hurting our children,” said Ms Cupido-Seale.

“The parks belong to our children, it doesn’t belong to the drug abusers. I hardly send my children to the shop because I fear for what could happen. I hope things will change and get better for our communities.”

Ethan has also been accepted to the Mitchell’s Plain School of Skills in Rocklands and will be starting in 2019. He nodded in excitement when his mom mentioned it.

Ms Cupido-Seale remains positive through everything. “Ethan doesn’t walk with a bandage or anything covering his eye, that speaks positivity to me. I just want my son to be successful, be and do the best he can possibly be.”