"You'd never think something like that would happen. You'd never think it would happen to your child," Mona Leissa Polk said.
It started as child's play, with two boys walking in the woods. Their curiosity led them to a bag. When they shook it, they found a bottle filled with liquid. That's when chemicals from a meth lab dumpsite exploded in Isaiah Polk's face.
"My face was burning," Isaiah said.
That sensation was second degree burns ravaging the 9-year-old's face and severely damaging his eyes.
"I couldn't breathe," Isaiah remembers.
"When I seen his eyes, I couldn't do anything but cry," Polk said.
Isaiah's mother says doctors have told her the boy's eyes are so damaged, that he'll have to get corneal transplants later this week.
"There's a 90 percent chance he'll lose his left eye. But I hope he gets to keep his right eye, so he can have some vision, have some type of normal life," Polk said.
Police are finding meth lab dumpsites in the woods pretty frequently. The dangerous chemicals are usually tossed in backpacks or trash bags. In Isaiah's case, someone's trash made it into small, innocent hands.
"This kid is innocent. Doesn't have a clue the dangers he got himself into, just playing with trash down by the river. The sad thing about meth labs is almost every single ingredient is hazardous and deadly. When you mix them together, it just increases," Chad Heck, Asst. Commander of the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County, said.
The Polks do not have insurance, and say medical bills have already exceeded $10,000, and the surgery will be more.
"It's overwhelming, it's really overwhelming," Polk said.
For all the emotion and tears from his mother, Isaiah hasn't cried about the accident and he doesn't seem frightened about losing his eyesight. He's still a happy nine-year-old, thinking about his next adventure.
"When I get better, I want to play football," Isaiah said.
His mom prays the eye surgery will help his dream come true.
If you would like to help out the Polk family with his corneal surgery or rehabilitation bills, you can donate to the Isaiah Polk Benefit Fund at any Hancock Bank.
The Narcotics Task Force says there are a few signs to look for if you think you've stumbled upon a meth lab dump. Here is a list of some things you might see:
- Red gas cans with hoses
- Two liter bottles with liquids
- Lthium batteries
- Red Devil Lye cans
- Drain cleaners
- Dry ice bags
- Ether cans
- Paper towels, coffee filters
Most importantly, do not touch them. The chemicals can even burn through gloves. If you find these, immediately call police in your community.