The Gift of Sight

When their third child, a girl, was born to Sheela and Murli, they were frightened and very worried. The child’s irises and pupils were completely opaque and light blue in colour. The nurse at the general hospital where she was born advised the parents to consult an eye specialist. Murli, a resident of Sultanpur city and a drain repair worker, took his daughter to two well-known private practitioners. Both of told him that treatment was not possible and that his best chance might be to go to Delhi and find out if the child could be treated. Delhi was too far for them to even travel to and they were resigned to their fate. Someone told them about IGEHRC Amethi and they took the little girl there. After preliminary investigation, they were referred to IGEHRC Lucknow, to Dr Kuldeep Srivastava. “Doctor sahib checked the child, said that she could be treated and then told us to return in a week,” says Murli.

Investigations and diagnosis proved that the child had congenital glaucoma, a relatively rare disorder that afflicts one in some 40,000 children. “One eye was very badly scarred, but the other one was a little better,” says Dr Srivastava. “I decided to operate immediately. One eye was operated upon when the baby was just 23 days old and the next a week later. She has fully regained sight in one eye. The glaucoma was so advanced that had we not operated when we did, she would have lost both her eyes.”

Today, Anchal, now in her sixth year, leads a normal life and her parents are happy that she can see again.