Magpie Attacks and Eye Injuries

Further to our recent story on magpie’s attacking children and causing eye injuries, here is a recently published article with expert opinion from Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists ophthalmologist Dr Michael Jones. This article was published on 17 September 2015 in the daily telegraph, with news coverage from channels 7, 9, and 10.

Magpie terror as four children, baby viciously attacked at East Gosford playground:

A LEADING eye surgeon is warning parents to exercise extreme caution after a string of “horrific” magpie attacks at a popular playground left four children and a baby with serious injuries­.

The warning comes after six-year-old Peter Adnam-Berry almost lost his eye when a rogue male magpie swooped while he was playing with his big brother at Elisabeth Ross Park at East Gosford on Friday.

The same bird, which has since been destroyed by ­National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers, is believed to have been responsible for a string of eye-gouging attacks on children in the playground.

One of the attacks left 10-month-old Isaiah Heng, of East Gosford, in surgery at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead with a ripped cornea.

“It has been a horrific start to the season,” the ­hospital’s head of ophthalmology Dr Michael Jones said.

“It is highly unusual to have so many serious eye ­injuries from magpie attacks in just one week, and this is only the start of swooping season which can last up to eight weeks.”

As Westmead doctors worked on baby Isaiah, the magpie struck again days later, swooping on East Gosford Public School Year 1 student Peter as he enjoyed an after-school play with his big brother at the park.

Doctors at Gosford Hospital fought to save the little boy’s vision after the magpie pierced a hole in his eye.

“He said it just came out of nowhere and went straight for his eyes,” his ­father Simon Adnam-Berry, of East Gosford, said.

“We were told he may lose his eye, but doctors managed to save it. He has probably lost some of his sight, however,” he said.

Dr Jones said in some cases he has had to remove an eye and that penetrative eye injuries like Isaiah’s and Peter’s could often lead to permanent scarring and some loss of vision.

“It can also lead to a ­condition called amblyopia or ‘lazy eye’ and there’s also the risk of infection,” Dr Jones said.

Isaiah’s mother Renay Heng, who watched helplessly as her son was targeted by the rogue magpie, said she “felt sick” after the incident.

“Doctors say he’s lucky it didn’t penetrate his retina,” Ms Heng said.

“He’s been a trouper, but it has been terrible.

“I can’t imagine another parent going through this.”

The plucky 10-month-old has since had several ­operations to save his eye and still needs eye drops every hour as he recovers from his frightening ordeal.

See the complete article here:

For further information, contact Sydney ophthalmologist Dr Michael Jones at Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists on 9241 2913.