Boy’s sight threatened after discarded meth ingredients explode in face

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, July 19, 2007

A 9-year-old boy who stumbled across discarded meth lab chemicals last week while walking through the woods could lose sight in both his eyes after the brew exploded in his hands.

Doctors for Isaiah Polk said the damage to the boy’s eyes was so severe that he’ll need corneal transplants later this week.

“There’s a 90 percent chance he’ll lose his left eye,” said Isaiah’s mother, Mona Leissa Polk. “But I hope he gets to keep his right eye, so he can have some vision, have some type of normal life.”

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Area police say they find meth lab dump sites in the woods frequently. They are often tossed out in garbage bags or backpacks, and draw the curious.

The dangerous chemicals used to make meth can be extremely explosive and flammable, as Isaiah found out after shaking a container full of leftover liquid.

The bottle exploded and its contents hit Isaiah in the face.

“My face was burning,” he said.

He suffered second-degree burns to his face and eyes last Wednesday.

“This kid is innocent,” said Chad Heck, assistant commander of the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County. (He) doesn’t have a clue the dangers he got himself into, just playing with trash down by the river. The sad thing about meth labs is almost every single ingredient is hazardous and deadly. When you mix them together, it just increases.”

Medical bills are already more than $10,000, Polk said. They don’t have insurance, and the corneal surgery will be even more expensive.

“You’d never think something like that would happen. You’d never think it would happen to your child,” Polk said.

Polk said Isaiah is in good spirits despite his injuries. She said he hasn’t cried and doesn’t seem worried about possibly losing his eyesight.

“When I get better, I want to play football,” Isaiah said.