Fatima, just 2 years old, was peering into a bowl of vegetables, while her mother Matluba was cooking. As Matluba poured some vinegar into the dish, it suddenly splattered and damaged both the eyes of little Fatima.
Fatima’s father Gholam is a Russian businessman, based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a fruit wholesaler. The despairing Gholam took Fatima to several doctors, but to no avail. Dr Akshay Khera, an Indian ophthalmologist settled in Tashkent, advised Gholam to take the child to L V Prasad Eye Institute. Gholam looked up LVPEI on the internet and began corresponding with the institute.
The family arrived at LVPEI in Hyderabad in June 2012. Gholam recalls, “After I met Dr Sangwan and he said that he could help my daughter see again, there were tears in my eyes, tears of joy.” Fatima was operated upon in June 2012; a Boston Keratoprosthesis lens was implanted in her left eye. The response was good. Back home in Tashkent, Dr Khera provided Fatima post-operative care.
Gholam and the family returned to Hyderabad in January 2013 to attend to Fatima’s right eye. Earlier, the doctors at LVPEI had thought that the same type of surgery may not work for the child’s right eye as it was severely damaged by the hot vinegar. On this visit, she was re-examined under anesthesia by both the cornea and the glaucoma specialist, who then decided to go ahead with the same kind of surgery. Fatima underwent a Boston Keratoprosthesis lens implant in the right eye and is doing well. She waved goodbye cheerfully, as she was returning home with her parents who were more than pleased for her.
Gholam speaks very little English but managed to say, “I say a BIG thank you to all doctors in LVPEI.”
Baby Fatima, MR P676584: The apple of her parents’ eyes