9-year-old injured by trash from meth lab is recovering

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The mother of a 9-year-old boy says her son continues to heal from injuries suffered in July when trash from a methamphetamine lab that exploded near his face.

“He’s been so blessed,” said Mona Polk. “It’s got to be from all the prayers. He’s healing wonderfully.”

Police had said Isaiah Polk and his 6-year-old cousin found a backpack containing chemicals from a meth lab dumped in the woods behind their FEMA trailer in Pascagoula. Officers said that as Isaiah Polk took the bag from his cousin and tried to put it down, it exploded and gave him second-degree burns on his face and injured his eyes.

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At the time of the accident, Mona Polk didn’t think her son would be able to see again.

She said Sunday that Isaiah’s right eye has healed, his vision in his left eye is cloudy and his scars have almost disappeared.

“But, you can’t tell he has been burned in his face,” she said.

Mona Polk also said her son has received numerous cards and calls from people asking about him and sending prayers and donations. Several have become family friends, she said.

The Lions Club is financing Isaiah’s medical care, which is being done locally so they do not have to travel to Jackson, she said.

The boy’s right eye will not require surgery, but he will undergo surgery on his left eye when it heals a bit more, Mona Polk said.

Cmdr. Curtis Spiers with the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County said Isaiah’s story created a public awareness of the importance of reporting suspicious activity and the locations of possible meth labs.

Spiers said several anonymous tips have led to lab discoveries and arrests, including the arrest of Joseph Terry Shimp and James Edward McCall for their part in the meth lab that caused Isaiah’s injuries. Spiers said no other arrests in that case are expected.

“It’s a shame that it took a tragedy like that to wake up Jackson County,” he said.