MISSOURI CITY, Texas – A high school senior who lost her prosthetic eye during Hurricane Harvey needs help. Her family cannot afford a replacement, so the girl goes to school everyday worried about bullies.
Brie’unna Gonzalez says she plans to study business management Texas A&M next fall to learn how to run her own fashion boutique one day.
However, the one thing she cannot do without vanished during Hurricane Harvey.
“It was just so hard because I know I have to go to school and I know people are going to make fun of me because I have one eye,” Gonzalez said.
When she was just two years old, she lost her left eye. Her mom, LaKeisha Monroe, bought her a prosthetic that Gonzalez removes and cleans every night.
When flooding near I-10 and Federal chased Monroe, Gonzalez and her four siblings to their roof, they left her $3,000 prosthetic eye.
“When the water came up, I was looking for it and I couldn’t find it,” Gonzalez said.
The family later spent three days searching without luck.
Two years ago, school bullies pushed Gonzalez to the brink of suicide over her eye. Now, she is sad again and goes to school worried what people at school will say and do.
“It’s just so hard to go through life with people talking about you,” she said. “It tore my self-esteem down really, really low. I feel like once people start to talk about you and talk about you so much you start to believe it.”
Monroe, a single mother with five children, said she cannot afford to buy a replacement and insurance considers it a “cosmetic” need and refuses to pay.
“I kind of understand but sometimes it’s bigger than your health,” she said. “I want to see her happy.”
So they are hoping somehow things get better.