'Tega needs time to heal' - mum of teen football star attacked with acid
The mother of a young football star who was the victim of an acid attack has said she does not know when he will return to school or the playing pitch.
Christie Agberhiere told the Herald that ensuring her son Tega's horrific injuries did not become infected was her priority as he recovers.
"I can't say yet about his return, it depends how things go," she said.
"With the injury, it's important we keep treating it to prevent infection and it needs time to heal. He isn't going to rush into anything."
Tega (16), an Ireland under-17 player, was left with serious facial and eye injuries following the attack in Waterford last month.
He has returned home from hospital, but will continue to receive weekly treatment for his burns in Cork and go to University Hospital Waterford for appointments with eye experts.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by local woman Anne Treacy Grogan, who is hoping to rally the community in support of Tega.
A target of €3,000 was set, but €7,646 has already been raised.
Christie said she did not know Anne before the attack, and was extremely grateful for her random act of kindness.
"It will be really helpful. I'm really grateful as I don't know her and she doesn't know me, she just set it up herself," she said.
"I really appreciate everyone donating to it. I pray that this doesn't happen to anyone else. We're still in shock, but Tega is not dead. It's a nightmare. It's unreal."
Anne (55), from Ballygunner in Waterford, said that having a son the same age as Tega prompted her to act.
"It was just such a horrible act," she told the Herald. "The amount raised really represents what people feel about what happened to Tega.
"He has so much potential and his injuries were hugely shocking. It's a way of supporting him."
Christie said her son was making good progress in his recovery, but he had been asking doctors when his face would heal.
She said her biggest concern was that his sight saved.
"The skin is healing well, the doctors are happy with the progress", she said.
"He has asked about how long it will take for his skin to go back to normal, as there is some discolouration.
"I told him everything will get better, it's the eyes that are most important.
"He will ask questions, but that is normal."