A mechanical lead pencil tossed playfully by a schoolgirl at an eight-year-old
Rehovot girl during class nearly cost the child her sight, which was saved in an
emergency operation at Kaplan Medical Center.
Linoy Gathon, who was
injured two weeks ago and is now recovering, recalled Sunday that she had passed
a pencil to a schoolmate at her table, and that the girl had thrown back an
eraser in exchange. A third girl, a few meters away, thought it was a game and
threw her mechanical pencil at Gathon.
Its graphite point broke off and
entered the cornea of her right eye, and it was so painful that she couldn’t
Gathon was rushed from the Yavne’eli School to the Rehovot
hospital. She underwent an emergency operation performed by doctors Arye
Markovitz and Yohai Shoshani, who removed a piece of lead from deep inside her
cornea and stitched the hole closed.
The girl was hospitalized for a few
days, during which she was given antibiotics to prevent infection. At a checkup
at Kaplan on Sunday Gathon was told that her eyeball had suffered no permanent
She said that while she was hospitalized, everyone in the school
talked about the incident, and the teachers led discussions on accident
The ophthalmology team called on parents to educate their
children about the dangers inherent in the use of pencils, both mechanical and
“In Lenoy’s case, she was very lucky... it even was a miracle,
because the graphite pierced the edge of her eye and not the center.
could have lost her sight,” the doctors said.