Monday, 4 December 2017

The joy of Giving

''My friend and I organized a bake sale during Diwali to raise money for non paying surgeries at LVPEI. Neha was the baking expert and I was the manager. It was a lot of hard work but when we came to the hospital and met the people in the Institute's rehabilitation centre, we realized everything was worth the time and effort. We are planning on doing some more bake sales in future. We experienced happiness in giving, and hope others can too."


Gauri can now live a life of dignity

Before the surgery Gouri Behera, 32, from Dhenkana District, Odisha, was born with limited vision in only one eye. Even that deteriorated over time, and her eye ball gradually shrunk. When she came to LVPEI Bhubaneswar, she had no vision at all. Dr Vivek Warkad and Dr Suryasnata Rath performed a series of surgeries comprising 'hangback extraocular muscle recession' and 'fixation of the globe to the bony wall'. 

The team successfully managed to restore not only her vision, but also the shape of her eyeball, thus improving the overall cosmic appeal of her face. It is indeed a life changing experience for Gouri who is now able to see the world, and live a life of dignity and hope for a better future.

From being a patient to becoming a vision ambassador

Ravula Munaiah, 52, used to earn his living by repairing recorders and radios, until his vision began dwindling. Being single and handicapped by polio, he became completely dependent on his relatives. An LVPEI Vision Guardian referred him to Secondary care Swarna Bharat Eye Centre in Nellore where he was subsequently operated for cataract in both his eyes. Extremely happy with the vision outcome, he actively participated in the community screening program organized by the LVPEI team in his village, and personally counseled those who were advised surgeries. Encouraged by his advocacy, many from his village visited the centre for follow-up treatment. “I can once again see everything and that is a very big thing for me,” says Munaiah.  

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

My daughter Jahnavi

“My daughter Jahnavi was born with a series of life threatening complications – congenital heart problem, cataract and rubella. The doctors in my village were reluctant to operate her. When I met the experienced and efficient team of doctors at LVPEI Visakhapatnam, I knew my baby was in safe hands. She was just 27 days old when the first surgery for cataract removal was performed by Dr Merle Fernandes, supported by the anesthetist team. Her right eye was too small for the intraocular lens to be fit in, so she was prescribed contact lens. This resulted in improved vision but later she developed squint, followed by lazy eye. Things were not easy; no good school was ready to admit her. To my utter happiness, Dr Virender Sachdeva successfully treated her eye problems. Today Jahnavi goes to a good school and I am proud to share that she is doing very well. Our journey with LVPEI has been just amazing and I will be ever thankful to her treating doctors and the entire staff.”

M Sridevi

Amalapuram, East Godavari, AP

Changing Destiny

Mohammed Fareed, 30, was born with blue eyes and steadily started losing his vision. Despite undergoing surgeries at a local eye hospital, he could not regain his vision. The family lost all hope and he turned into an introvert. Fate intervened and brought them in contact with a patient who had been treated at LVPEI for a similar problem. Fareed's mother, for the first time, stepped out of their village in Krishna District, AP and came all the way to Hyderabad. Dr Sunita Chaurasia evaluated Fareed and performed keratoplasty (corneal transplantation) in both eyes. 

It's been over a year now and the family is overjoyed with Fareed's vision. They now spread awareness about the treatment to others in their community. “The benefits of keratoplasty to cure corneal blindness are not known to many in the remote areas and they consider it as their destiny and live with the problem. We thank our patients who have been ambassadors in spreading the message about the treatment available and thus helping to support our mission – so that all may see,” says Dr Chaurasia.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Premature Odisha baby saved from blindness

Mamata Rout of Sidhamala, Nayagarh District, Odisha, had delivered two premature baby girls in the 30th week of pregnancy. They weighed 900 gm and 1500 gm respectively, and were kept at the NICU of the local government hospital for 25 days as the parents couldn't afford to take them to Bubaneswar for better treatment. 

Dr Sweta Mohapatra, an Ophthalmologist at Nayagarh, trained at LVPEI in early diagnosis of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a condition affecting the eye health of premature babies, diagnosed the twin babies with ROP. The RBSK (Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, a state Child Health Program for the disadvantaged) helped rush the babies to LVPEI Bhubaneswar. RBSK’s pediatrician Dr Lingaraj Pradhan admitted one of the twins who needed urgent treatment to the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) at Capital Hospital Bhubaneswar where her health was stabilized. 

At the brink of losing her vision, the baby underwent advanced ROP treatment, including injections and laser sessions, under the skilful hands of Dr Tapas Ranjan Padhi of LVPEI Bhubaneswar. Thanks to the collective efforts of the various teams, the baby today has healthy vision and will no longer be blinded for life.

From scoring the lowest marks to securing 70%

D Sireesha's vision problem went unidentified until she was in her 6th grade. When her teacher tried to counsel her on her low scores, she realized that Sireesha was unable to copy notes from the blackboard due to limited vision. Soon enough, her agriculturist father brought her to LVPEI's Edward and Soona Brown Eye Centre at Sattenapalli.

Diagnosed with low vision at the centre, she was prescribed with 4X telescope. "I am in seventh grade now and I am able to study well. In my last exam I scored 70% and I am now participating in all school activities as well," says the elated Sireesha.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Dr Murat Shamsiya from Mongolia

“I am thankful for the opportunity that I got to pursue my pediatric fellowship at LVPEI. It has been a great learning experience. Pediatric congenital cataract is a big problem in my country and no good quality eye care is available. In the hospital where I work in my hometown in Mongolia, we have a new phaco machine and the latest instruments for cataract surgeries. With the experience that I have gained, I am confident I will now be able to treat all kinds of pediatric cataract cases. I also had the opportunity to witness interesting squint cases and advanced surgical interventions. Dr Subhadra Jalali and Dr Tapas Ranjan Padhi taught me about the early identification and management of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and I now look forward to treating ROP cases in my country. I would like to thank Dr Ramesh Kekunnaya, Dr Preeti Patil Chhablani, Dr Akshay Badakere, Dr Vivek Warkad and all the fellows, optometrists, nurses and pediatric team for teaching me and sharing their knowledge, skills and experiences with me.”

Murat Shamsiya
Pediatric Ophthalmologist, National Center for Maternal and Child Health
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Shamsiya completed her fifteen-month pediatric fellowship at LVPEI in June 2017

Dedicated efforts to rehabilitate lives

Worried about Baby Duddolu Kalayni's future and their limited resources to cater to her special needs, her parents prayed for her death. She suffered from visual impairment and delayed milestones, and had become a burden for her family of daily wage labourers. 

Identified during a door-to-door survey, Kalayni was brought to the institute's secondary centre in Mudhole, Adilabad district, and later to the Hyderabad campus. It was a case of irreversible blindness and she was referred to the Institute for Vision Rehabilitation for early intervention services. The follow-up treatment was at the secondary centre in Mudhole that was now equipped to handle such cases. 

Both Kalayni and her mother are being trained on how to handle her special needs, made possible thanks entirely to the persistent and dedicated efforts of the field assistants and the team at Mudhole. Happy with the training, the parents are now hopeful for a better future for their daughter.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Glad to share with all

Glad to share with all that I secured 75% in my B.A. first year exam that I am pursuing through correspondence from Osmania University. When I look back at my academic journey, there came a point in my life when I had to discontinue my Bachelors in Mass Communication in 2008 due to vision loss. I have to admit that I never thought I will be able to study further. But I was wrong as life had other plans for me or rather LVPEI,  I should say! I walked in here as a patient in 2011, joined as an employee in 2013 and now I am also availing the institute's services to study further. Every step I took from the time I came here uncovered great opportunities.  'So that all may have vision', this would be my version of the mission statement of LVPEI as it let me have a vision for my future. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to each one for their support and assistance. Special thanks to T Vinay Kumar, our sound editor for letting me have the audio books on time.

T V Aishwarya, Counsellor, HelpLine Services,

Institute for Vision Rehabilitation, LVPEI

Two corneal transplants and now the IAS

Hyderabad based radiologist Dr Sandeep Kumar Nallamothu had undergone two corneal transplants in his right eye at LVPEI. He was in the 7th grade when his eye power started increasing drastically. This adversely affected his studies and overall personality as well.

“Dr Prashant Garg has been a major influence in my life. He would always motivate me to study and scale greater heights,” says the 33 year old Sandeep. He recently cleared his IAS exams and is now awaiting posting. Extremely happy with the treatment provided at the Institute, Sandeep's father Mr Vijay Kumar Nallamothu says, “I am so proud of my son’s achievements. We have been fortunate to receive the best of care at LVPEI.”

Accessible, affordable eye care at the doorsteps of the community

Mahbub Ali Syed, 56, from Chunchupalli village in Khammam District, Telangana, had lost vision in his right eye 15 years back due to a stone injury. Since the past year, he was experiencing blurred vision in his other eye. A local doctor advised cataract surgery but fearing surgery and the huge expense, he bravely decided to live with blurred vision, even though mundane chores were getting increasingly challenging. 

Things changed when an LVPEI field worker on a door-to-door survey visited Mahbub’s village, and soon escorted him to the Nava Bharat Eye Centre in Paloncha for a successful cataract surgery with Dr Priya Mittal, completely free of cost.

"I am so happy that I can once again see and take care of my family now!" says Mahbub.`

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Excellent Training Experience

Hi Dr Maneck,

I just got home to Chicago and wanted to say thank you, for a wonderful month's training. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and really invested in my learning experience. I had a great time, learned a lot, and got to know you all, which was an added bonus.

Joshua Z Warren, MD, MBA
Medical Resident, Aurora Health Care
The Perelman School of Medicine, The Wharton School, Philadelphia

(Joshua completed a one-month Zeiss training program at GMR Varalakshmi campus, Visakhapatnam in April 2017).

A solution to constant watering of the eye

V Rama Murthy, 72, from Hyderabad, lost his vision in the left eye at age 25 following untreated redness and watering of the eye. In his mid thirties, he experienced similar symptoms in his only seeing eye. He immediately consulted some local doctors. “I was prescribed glasses and some drops, which improved my vision, but persistent redness and watering of the eye would lead to severe bouts of headaches. The problem worsened with time, making me dependent on others for my day-to-day tasks,” says Mr Murthy.

On the advice of an acquaintance, he consulted Dr Milind Naik at LVPEI who performed a surgery to clear the blockage in the tear drainage pathway in his nose. The immediate result was 60% reduction in the watering of the eyes. Thereafter Dr Sidharth Dixit operated him for cataract. “My vision has improved and I can now move around independently. My experience at LVPEI has been just excellent and I am touched by the humble behaviour of the doctors and other support staff here,” concludes Mr Murthy.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Towards a brighter future

The series of complications little Rana was born with were unnerving for her young parents Rabba and Mohsin Humaid of Oman. The joy of her birth turned to despair when Rana was diagnosed with corneal infection and glaucoma, coupled with chest infection and hypothyroidism. With support from the Government of Oman, the worried parents contacted Dr Bhupesh Bagga at LVPEI for medical advice. 

Looking at the severity of the problem, they were advised to fly down to Hyderabad immediately. In January 2017, when Rana was brought to LVPEI her condition was extremely fragile with fluctuating levels of para thyroid hormone and aspiration pneumonia. Unfit to be operated upon, the first priority was to bring her vital signs to normal level. After receiving treatment at one of the city based pediatric hospitals, Rana underwent corneal surgery in both her eyes at the tender age of 9 months. 

“She now responds to light and is curious to see things around her. For us this whole journey has been nothing less than a miracle. We will forever be thankful for the wonderful support we have received from the entire team at LVPEI,” say the delighted parents. To keep her eye pressure controlled, drops have been prescribed and for better vision, the parents have been trained to fit contact lens in her left eye.

So that nobody goes needlessly blind

Bhikari Nayak, 90, and his wife Sasi Nayak, 70, from Dulanapur, Banki, Odisha were treated at Shri Mithu Tulsi Chanrai Campus in Bhubaneswar for cataract. When they did not turn up for their post operation check-up, a concerned Dr Nadim Kazi informed Kirteemayee Roul from the patient care team. 

With no contact phone number or detail mentioned except their village in the patient record, Kirteemayee requested another old patient from the same village to inquire about the couple. The patient got back to say that the couple lived in abject poverty, and could not afford their prescribed eye drops leave alone travel to the institute for their check-up. 

Dr Kazi and Antaryami Muduli from the nursing team went to their house and escorted them back to the campus. In absence of proper care, Sasi's eyes had developed mild edema and congestion. Medical treatment was begun immediately and a second surgery performed. 

On the day of discharge, Dr Kazi gave them Rs 500 from his pocket and asked them to come for their follow-up without fail. The institute applauds the dedication of the team that went beyond their call of duty.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Dear Dr Sangwan,

I worked at Srujana Centre for Innovation as an LVP-MITRA fellow for 6 months until January 2017. It was a turning point in my life. Before coming to Srujana, I was ambiguous of what to do in life. But at Srujana, looking at how my knowledge and expertise could impact the lives of people, I realized my true passion.

Though an amateur, I wanted to fly, learn more, visit new places and meet new people. But I lacked confidence about not studying in a good university and lacking experience. I took a chance and applied for a fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Luckily, I got through. They loved my work and wanted me to participate in the ongoing research. I had a hard time convincing my parents as it would need a lot of money. But your advice and guidance helped me a lot. I am now working closely with professors and clinicians at MEEI for developing vision aids for low vision patients. I am having a wonderful time working here, learning new things and improving my knowledge.
I want to thank you very much for your support and guidance. I feel very lucky to have met you in my life.

Nish Mohith Kurukuti

Laxmi and her family will now lead a better life

Laxmi Konda, 27, was living a marginalized life with two children and her mother-in-law. Married young, losing her husband to an unknown illness, and her own impoverished look, led people around to suspect her of being HIV positive. Routine community screening by Vision Technician S Laxman indentified Laxmi’s younger child with a vision problem, and possibly Laxmi too. He brought the family to the secondary centre at Adilabad, Telangana for a detailed examination where both were diagnosed with cataract. Laxmi confessed to having reduced vision since childhood. Fellow doctor Prabhakar Singh and Centre Administrator Naresh Rao counselled Laxmi for her fear of surgery, which she finally underwent – after a blood test ruled out HIV.  She was overjoyed on finally being able to see what her children looked like. Her daughter is currently under medication to stabilize her haemoglobin levels for her surgery at LVPEI’s Hyderabad campus.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Regaining vision, and dignity

A failed cataract surgery in the right eye and a gradual diminution in vision in the other eye, had made Pratima Barik, residing in Nayagram, West Bengal, completely dependent on her husband. Expensive medical treatment being beyond their reach, she visited Shri Mithu Tulsi Chanrai Campus at Bhubaneswar with hope and was diagnosed with 'Fuchs endothelial dystrophy', a condition in which the cells present in the cornea do not secrete adequate fluids necessary for clear vision. It generally affects the elderly population and is slightly more common in women.

A corneal transplant surgery, along with cataract surgery in the left eye, was successfully performed. Her vision in the left eye has now significantly improved. “I am extremely delighted I can now lead a dignified life and can contribute equally to the family,” says Pratima Barik.

No more blinded for life

When Rathod Shyam, 40, a registered medical practitioner (RMP) had conjunctivitis, he tried treating it with antibiotic drops. To ease the burning sensation, he applied cow's milk and ghee. Within days, his condition worsened, his vision dropped completely and his eyes were covered with a white layer. He consulted a local eye specialist near his village in Maharashta and was devastated when told that he was blinded for life. A former LVPEI Vision Technician advised the family to take Rathod to LVPEI's Seshanna Chennawar Eye Centre in Adilabad, Telangana.

Dr Prabhakar Singh, fellow ophthalmologist posted at the centre, examined the white layer that seemed like severe inflammation due to milk and ghee. Rathod's eyes were cleaned and he was prescribed medication. Overwhelmed at receiving his eyesight back, Rathod says, “In spite of being a medical practitioner, I was ignorant about how vision threatening home remedies can be! I now pledge to create awareness among other people in my village.”

Monday, 6 February 2017

Little Pruthvi is the eyes of his parents

Like other children, Pruthvi enjoys going to school and playing. But unlike other 4-year olds, Pruthvi helps his parents with mundane tasks at home, a happiness that his family has secured thanks to the parents' vigilance.

Congenital cataract and delayed care had caused vision loss for Pruthvi's parents. Aware of the high risk involved, they had brought their baby over for a detailed eye check, right after his birth, and at the tender age of 6 weeks, Pruthvi had undergone a successful cataract surgery at LVPEI's Vijayawada campus.

The happy parents now no longer depend on Pruthvi's grandparents or uncle to escort them to the hospital for check-ups. “We now have Pruthvi to help us around,” they proudly say.

“It   is  indeed  inspiring  and  motivating  to  see  how  timely  medical intervention  can  change the  lives  of a child and his family as well,” says Dr Niranjan K Pehere.

Chennamma's wellbeing

Nalagati Venkata Chennamma was born with visual and intellectual impairment. Prohibitive costs and Chennamma's behavioural issues prevented the family from seeking medical treatment. At age 20, a mandatory government requirement to avail benefits for the visually impaired, revealed 100% blindness.

But five years later, LVPEI's Field Rehabilitation Service Officer Karunakar spotted symptoms of cataract. His counselling led to Chennamma being brought to LVPEI's secondary centre at Markapuram where she was operated upon by Dr Nilesh Jaiswal for congenital cataract. She has regained functional vision and is now undergoing treatment at the Hyderabad campus for further enhancement of her vision. Her family expresses immense gratitude for LVPEI's care and concern in their daughter's wellbeing.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

An army man's tribute

“I am an army man. On being referred from the military hospital, my mother was treated by Dr Muralidhar Ramappa who took good care of her. My mother has cared for me, educated me and turned me into a good citizen of the country. Mrs Vanita Ganesh (Patient Care Service) too agreed, “For parents and the country, however much we do, it is not enough. We should not stop our efforts.”
My salutations to everyone in LVPEI - you offer free services to army jawans, which means you serve those who save the country!”
Jai Hind,

G Chiranjeevi

S/o Guntu Varahalamma who was treated for corneal infection

The greatest joy is their child can now see

At 8 months, Sharath's parents noticed a white layer covering both his eyes. They also suspected he was unable to see. A local doctor in their native Kurnool district recommended LVPEI. “We took a sigh of relief when Dr Ramesh Kekunnaya informed us that other than congenital cataract, our child had no other problem,” says Vijay Kandol, the father. Under the skilful hands of Dr Kekunnaya, Sharath underwent cataract surgeries in both his eyes, completely free of cost.

The greatest joy for his mother is that Sharath can now recognize his parents. They are grateful to LVPEI and Dr Kekunnaya for restoring their child's vision and saving him from living his life in darkness.  

The joy of giving, no matter what

Sree Ramya Mangena, a client of the Vision Rehabilitation Institute, scored 9.5 in her 10th grade. For her outstanding performance, she was recently awarded a cash prize by the Lysosomal Disorder Society (LDS). Amazingly, Ramya decided to donate Rs 10,000 from that to help others like her, embodying the true spirit of giving back!

Afflicted with glaucoma, Ramya has been receiving medical as well as vision rehabilitation care at LVPEI since 9 years. In 2013 she was diagnosed with "Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI" - a rare genetic disorder with cardiac, skeletal, vision and respiratory involvement. Owing solely to her strong sense of determination, she continues to doggedly pursue her graduation through Open University, inspiring so many others with her story.