Lincoln teen wounded in pellet rifle accident waiting to learn if eye can be repaired

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, at 6:31 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Doctors will know in about 30 days whether surgery can restore sight to the left eye of 15-year-old Deven Rollins after an errant .177-caliber pellet rifle shot struck him, his stepfather said Friday.

“He can’t see images, but he can see light,” Town Councilor Chris Stevens said. “That tells me that there is light registering to his brain, that the connection is still there.”

Rollins was accidentally hit in the eye on Jan.11 by a 14-year-old boy who was target-shooting at cans at a West Broadway address. The pellet ricocheted off ice and hit Rollins, police have said.

No charges are expected. Rollins and his family forgave the boy, a family friend, for the accident, Stevens said.

“It was a freak thing that it would hit him like that,” Stevens said.

Stevens was at Walmart in Lincoln when he got a call telling him of the incident. He raced to the house and took his son to Penobscot Valley Hospital during the heavy ice storm, with a rag to the boy’s face to stop the bleeding. Doctors stabilized him there before transferring him to Mercy Hospital in Portland for surgery the next day, said Stevens, who returned from Portland and attended a council meeting on Monday.

A freshman at Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln, Rollins’ attitude is good and hopeful, Stevens said.

“He is handling it well. He is going to be due back at school next week,” Stevens said. “We have to ensure he doesn’t get jostled. We are just hoping that in 30 days we can start surgeries to get his eyesight back, but that remains 30 days out.”

The stress caused by the accident is considerable, Stevens said.

“As you can imagine with a child, you go through spells, you do OK, and then there are times where it plays on your mind a lot,” Stevens said.

Stevens is a forester, landlord and former karate instructor who was elected to the council for the first time in November.

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