The object struck the side view mirror on the drivers side of the vehicle. The glass shattered and entered the bus through the driver's open window scratching around five students. The driver, Bessie Casey, stopped the bus to check on the students finding several scared and scratched and one student seriously injured. She called the ambulance then tried to calm the students.
Tommy Basham, son of Pam Basham and John Jones, was sitting two seats behind the driver when the mirror shattered and entered the bus. A piece of glass struck Basham's left eye causing damage and temporary blindness. Basham said some kids saw the accident happen and closed their eyes preventing similar injuries.
Basham wasn't as fortunate as his classmates. The glass went through his iris, cornea and pupil. Doctors at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center sent Basham to Elizabethtown for treatment after checking and cleansing the wound. Several other students were treated at TLRMC and released.
While at the local medical center Basham was accompanied by Mike Geary, Director of Transportation at the Board of Education. Geary stayed with Basham until his mother and grandparents arrived.
Basham's mother said she was really scared until they said Basham was doing okay. She calmed down until seeing Basham at the emergency room where she became more upset.
At Elizabethtown Basham was sent to eye specialist Dr. Tony Smith. Smith performed emergency surgery to repair the cornea and replace the damaged lens with an artificial one.
The surgery was Basham's second, having had his tonsils taken out before, but this one was more disturbing because he was hooked up to several machines, and when it was over both eyes hurt.
Basham suffers a temporary blindness in the left eye due to blood clot. When the blood clot dissipates his sight will return.
Basham remembers the anaesthesiologist was really funny, which belies his character. He has withstood the accident better than most of his family. Geary said he was "a real trooper" and his grandmother, Donna Basham, said he is taking the injury better than anyone else.
Basham's father is proud of his son's character and courage. He says, "Tommy has been raised around wrestling and he knows that his body will heal." He has been great about it, not whining or even complaining much.
Always in a positive mood Basham says, "The coolest thing about the injury is this," and puts a large pair of sunglasses over his eyes. "Terminator glasses!" Another "cool" thing about the injury Tommy said was the scar that will be left is in the shape of a "T."
The whole family is very impressed with the doctors in Elizabethtown. The first week of the injury Basham visited the doctor daily to have his eye checked.
Tuesday morning, one week after the accident Basham woke with pain. Doctors said some pressure had built up on the eye causing the pain but they were able to relieve the pressure and send the boy home.
As he grows the cornea will have to be checked and possibly Basham will receive a cornea transplant. Basham will regain full use of his eye in a matter of weeks and will be able to return to school after break.