New eye makes girl smile
Christmas presents come in many sizes, shapes and value, but few could be more precious than the gift Missy Muru was given - an eye.
Ten-year-old Missy took delivery this month of a prosthetic eye made for her by maxillofacial technician Michael Williams.
The result was better than her mother, Celia Enoka, could hope for.
"She is a different girl. She looks even more beautiful and she can't stop smiling."
Missy was born with an eye condition that left one eye badly damaged and almost blind. It was taken out in September and after a period of healing she was given a new, more "normal" looking eye.
The eye was made and fitted in just one day by Mr Williams, who works at Waikato Hospital.
Miss Enoka said the process was "amazing".
"We watched everything, every bit of the way. In the beginning it [the eye] was like jelly and in the end it was hard."
The reaction of Missy's mum when she first saw her daughter's new eye was a moment of great joy, Mr Williams said.
"That made my day really," he said.
"It [Missy's new eye] made such a huge change not just to the patient but to her family as well.
"It's good to be doing a job that helps people to get an outcome like that and just improves the quality of a person's life."
It took Missy about a week to recover and to get used to her new eye.
"The following week she was back at school," Miss Enoka said.
"It is the first time I had ever seen her like that, ever since she was a baby.
"In the last two or three weeks her confidence has been boosted through the roof. She is coming home talking about things she had never done like kapa haka.
"A report sent home said her teacher put her in front of everyone and she was the kaea (leader). And that was a high point. That was beautiful thinking that she's now become a leader and the things that she really wants to do, she can do."