Rugby player fighting to regain vision

April 15, 2017
Jamaica Crocs' Omar Dixon (third right) poses with teammates after injuring his eye in their Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens game versus Germany last week.

National Rugby Sevens player Omar Dixon faces the possibility of losing sight permanently in his right eye if he does not receive funding he needs for major surgery within the next two weeks.

Dixon was injured during the Jamaica Crocs' opening game against Germany in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament last week when a high boot to the head not only left him concussed but also detached his retina and cracked his eye socket.

Team manager Cherine Richards said the squad has returned home after the competition but Dixon is still in Hong Kong seeking medical treatment.

"He had to do surgery to reattach his retina but now blood is building up behind the eye," she said. "He couldn't travel. He had to stay an extra five days and he still has to go back to the doctor. He (the doctor) said he needed surgery or he would go blind. The surgery was done but he still can't see and they're wondering what's happening behind the eye.

"He has two weeks in Hong Kong to try to recover to see if the bleeding will stop. We're praying and hoping for Omar."

Richards said that although Dixon is insured, the Jamaica Rugby Football Union (JRFU) is having difficulty finding the money needed for the next operation.

"We're calling for help to fund Omar's surgery. It's over US$42,000 (just over Ja$5.4 million) to do it. He has insurance but it doesn't cover all of that," she said.

The JRFU has opened an account at Scotiabank Jamaica to receive donations to help pay for the rugby player's surgery.

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