Thursday, 10 March 2016

Srinivas gets quality services in his village

When P Srinivas reached the Edward and Soona Brown Eye Centre in Dhulipalla, Andhra Pradesh on 10 February 2016 at 8:30 pm in the night, his right eye was red in colour, paining and watering. While driving his motorcycle, he had collided with a branch of a tree and had injured his eye. The local doctor had prescribed some drops, but that did not help.

A detailed eye examination revealed a corneal tear and the repair surgery was performed the very next day. Srinivas, who is an agriculturist, is very happy and relieved now that the pain and the watering have completely stopped. He also underwent a cataract surgery subsequently. “I have full faith in LVPEI. I am fortunate that such a good facility is available so close to my village; else I would have had to struggle with travel expenses to the city,” says Srinivas.

Solace from unbearable pain and bonus of vision restored

An unsuccessful cataract surgery in the right eye three years back, resulted in unbearable pain and vision loss for 55 year old Jahera Bee from Bellary, Karnataka. “The doctors I consulted told me that my case was very complicated and nothing could be done. The only solution was to remove my eye and replace it with a prosthetic eye but I was not convinced and did not heed their advice. My hope was rewarded when I consulted Dr C Jagadesh Reddy at LVPEI. He assured me that the pain would surely go and he would also try to restore my vision, and it did! Now I can see, and move around independently. I strongly recommend LVPEI to others who face a similar problem. I would also like to be associated with LVPEI as a volunteer,” says a grateful Jahera Bee.

Jahera Bee had a disorganized anterior segment of the eye with chronic edematous cornea, for which keratoplasty was done in February 2016 by Dr Reddy.

From Hyderabad, Pakistan to Hyderabad, India

Mohammad Bilal a 23 year old student from Hyderabad in Pakistan, was examining an opened inverter with a candle in hand, totally ignorant to the danger involved, when the unforeseen happened. He sustained severe burn injuries in his right eye and was rushed for emergency medical assistance. In the hope of receiving the best of medical care, he was brought to Islamabad and then to Karachi.

“The doctors I consulted said that 90% of my vision was already lost. The surgery they suggested was very expensive and the chances of success were remote. I posted my case online and received several responses from doctors all over the world. I felt most comfortable interacting with Dr Neera Agarwal in Delhi, India (Neera Agarwal is an Cornea alumnus from LVPEI, trained here more than 20 years ago!) who informed me about limbal stem cell surgery and its success in restoring vision. I came down to India and was operated by her. Post surgery, as she was not very happy with the improvement in my vision, the doctor referred me to Dr Virender S Sangwan at LVPEI, Hyderabad,” recalls Bilal. In early 2015, he underwent another limbal stem cell surgery performed by Dr Sangwan and in February 2016, on a follow up visit, he was delighted that 45% of his vision was restored.

Bilal is currently doing his engineering and aspires to do an MBA. “Earlier my eyelids would stick to each other, but now I can open them properly. Though a little apprehensive in the beginning about coming to India, my family and I are now very happy with the quality of service and care we received here,” says the delighted Bilal!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

For Kishore Babu, sky is the limit

From losing his vision at age 6 due to a health issue, being compelled to quit school, to being the only one from Telangana state to be selected by RBI, Kishore Babu, 24, has indeed come a long way. He is now an Assistant with the Reserve Bank of India, Hyderabad, is a positive and engaging young man enthusiastically preparing for internal promotional tests, and is part of a music band that was privileged to have performed in front of the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

A year after he had to quit school, someone recommended LVPEI's rehabilitation centre where Kishore recalls learning “a lot - from soft skills to technical training - from the dedicated, professional and caring staff”. He even went on to finish his schooling and graduation in B.Com. “We don't need sympathy; we need equal opportunity. At my workplace, I am not treated differently; I am expected to perform on par with my colleagues. Parents of children with vision impairment should not shy from seeking services from centres like LVPEI. Once they visit, they will realize that the sky is the limit for their child,” says Kishore.

Controlling hemophilia to save vision

Krishna, 25, from a humble family in Madhya Pradesh has an MBA in Finance. His preparation for a banking career suffered a blow due to eye injury and subsequent vision loss. Krishna has hemophilia, a rare genetic disorder in which the blood does not clot and results in excessive bleeding. At LVPEI, a team effort by his doctors first focused on controlling his hemophilia before treating him - completely free of cost. From Dr Archana Bhargava's persistent efforts to convince the Delhi Hemophilia Society to provide the expensive Factor VIII injections to Krishna free of cost, to Dr Pavan Karla's diligence in administering these injections twice daily for seven days at 2pm and 2am, and to Dr Bhupesh Bagga's skill in performing the Hyphema drainage surgery early in February, everything went like clockwork.

“I came to LVPEI with high expectations and it has lived up to its reputation. The pain has subsided drastically; my vision is still blurred but I have been told further course of treatment will be planned. I am hopeful the doctors save my vision and I can resume my preparation for bank exams,” says a grateful Krishna.

The positive change in Anuradha

Anuradha Mandal, 8, from Kolkata, is a normal, inquisitive child and a source of joy and pride for her parents. “She was not always like this. She was a shy child, prone to anger and irritation. She was a preterm baby with low birth weight and was operated for cataract in both eyes at 6 months of age. Things were not easy for her. She would read and watch TV from up very close, a problem that persisted even after an Intraocular Lens was implanted at age 5. She then developed a squint that doctors in Kolkata said could be operated upon only after she turned 16. Thankfully, her pediatrician recommended LVPEI,” says her mother.

In January 2015, at age 7, Anuradha underwent surgery for squint correction under Dr Ramesh Kekunnaya and she is a transformed child now. “Our neighbours and friends tell us they can see a positive change in her now. I would advice other parents who face similar problems to consult at LVPEI without waste of time, no matter which part of the world they need to travel here from!” says the delighted father.

My baby was referred to LVPEI for cataract and ROP.

My baby was preterm, weighed 800 grams and was under ventilation for 3 months. The high ventilation affected her eyes; she was referred to LVPEI for cataract and ROP. Dr Subhadra Jalali at LVPEI Hyderabad treated her with Avastin injections in both eyes, and Dr Virender Sachdeva at LVPEI Visakhapatnam performed cataract surgery. For ROP treatment, Dr Subhadra performed surgery for both the eyes and referred us back to LVPEI Vizag for regular checkup. Our baby is now using contact lenses advised by Optometrist Ramkumar. My baby struggled a lot to regain her vision. Today we are really happy for the services we received from the two LVPEI hospitals in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. Our heartfelt thanks to all the doctors, optometrists and patient care staff for their support!

Ajay Choubey
(Father of Baby Shristi Kumari)
17 February 2016

Observership by PG students

“All of us are very happy that we got a glimpse of the LVPEI culture and the extraordinary  work that is carried out at LVPEI’s GMRV campus  . We are going back with  with greater understanding about the various options that we can now explore and a confidence to face the many challenges that our likely to come our way as we proceed in this field. In the limited time that we have spent here, all the various departments have contributed equally to our training and for that a Big Thank You to all of you."

Feedback from the postgraduate students of Regional Eye Hospital who completed their one month observership program at GMR Varalakshmi Campus, Visakhapatnam.

Dr Agustina Borrone’s LVPEI-inspired dreams

Ever since she was a little child, growing up in La Plata Buenos Aires, she always wanted to help people to see. After finishing her medical school in Argentina, the dream of becoming an Ophthalmologist appeared close to reality, so Agustina applied, was accepted and finished her Ophthalmology residency program at the Clinica de Ojos in 2014. Of all the subspecialties that she trained in Cornea was always her first love and passion.

Agustina heard about L V Prasad Eye Institute from Alfredo Roude, a former short term fellow from Buenos Aires, who spent 5 months in the Cornea service, several years ago years and immediately started dreaming that one day, she too would like to become a cornea fellow from “this amazing place full of values, with such high standard levels of education and where the unwavering, primary focus is placed on helping to cure blindness, using research as one of the most important implements to do so.”

After applying and waiting for a whole year, Agustina finally received notice of being accepted as a cornea fellow in 2015. In her own words, “Finally my dream was coming true.”

“When I came to India I was full of expectations, and this place and its people exceeded them. Every day for me has become an amazing learning experience.”

“In LVPEI I have the opportunity to work with some leading Ophthalmologists, they provide excellent medical care, and above all the focus is always about the people who are in need.”

Now, she is proud to be part of the new Tej Kohli Cornea Institute.

The icing on the cake was that Agustina had the privilege of discovering some fantastic new friendships with colleagues and peers, who she says, have became more than family to her.

After spending a year In LVPEI with only a few more months left here, she has start thinking about all the possibilities that this fellowship has offered and the opportunities that could open up once she is back home.
“Ophthalmology in Argentina needs to improve, and I know that my job will help to do this. I’m looking forward to start working at the Hospital de Clinicas Jose de San Martinand helping to create an Eye bank is one of my aims and with LVPEI as an example I am sure we will be able to do that. I’m also keen to work in smaller towns where patients need eye care the most and will definitely be part of my work.”

“The list of things I can do with all what I have seen and learnt at LVPEI is unimaginable. This place with its people will forever hold a special place in my heart. I’m really thankful for all those who helped me to achieve my dream and I will be forever thankful for this opportunity.”

Early Intervention helps Sai Kiran pursue his passion for studies

Sai Kiran, 20, was born blind because of microcornea in both eyes. At three months, he was referred to LVPEI’s Dr PRK Prasad Centre for Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired. Thanks to the early intervention services at the centre, Kiran is now pursuing his Bachelor of Science from Hyderabad in Math, Physics and Chemistry, subjects that he is passionate about. He scored 9.7 percentile in his 10th grade and cleared his 12th grade with a first division. What is impressive about Kiran is his never-give-up attitude that helps him overcome the odds, despite his family’s modest financial means.

Vision Rehabilitation is an integral part of the LVPEI’s pyramidal model of eye care delivery and Kiran has been receiving a comprehensive range of services such as mobility training, independent living skills and educational training, supply of Braille and digital audio books, provision of assistive devices, counseling and guidance on government schemes, and advice on environmental modification. Volunteers at LVPEI have also played a key role by extending their financial support to sponsor his college education and by becoming scribes to write his exams.

Kiran actively participates in all the workshops organized by the Vision Rehabilitation department and willingly shares his experiences with fellow participants.

Sultana is a happy and busy person today

At 21, Sultana Shaheen, is the busiest person in the house as she cooks, dusts, washes, rinses, irons, sews, and if time permits, enjoys reading children’s story books. It is hard to believe that she is the same Sultana who had lost her vision when she was barely 10 years old due to xeroderma, a genetic disease that causes a serious skin rash exacerbated by exposure to sunlight with multiple complications of the eye. Sultana is one of 3 siblings who developed xeroderma in a family of 14 children. She dropped out of school and also had to cope with the accompanying dwarfism.

For more than 10 years she stayed at home fearing social stigma. Sultana dreaded undergoing a corneal transplantation surgery until her brother, Md Anwar, convinced her of how he had benefitted from his eye surgery. Knowing he was fully using his restored vision, moving independently outside their home, and going to the Masjid for Namaz and for teaching the Quran, Sultana took the bold step of consenting for her own eye surgery on 1 October 2015.

Now that she can see with some vision restored in her right eye, Sultana is very enthusiastic about keeping a busy routine at home, and is raring to undergo a corneal transplantation in her second eye too.