This I Believe

Mala - lanham, Maryland
Entered on May 13, 2007

Helping hands – family support shapes the future of a blind kid

Human beings are social. They need someone to share their feelings, someone to share the ideas and someone to love and care. They live with each other in harmony. Life will be too lonesome if one is not surrounded by people around. But, there are some people who need more than what a normal human being deserves. They need help, an extra help, a support, a lot of love and caring and some soothing words, such that they can continue with their daily life in their own way. These are the people who are wonderful like the rest of us, however, unfortunate to be disabled. I came across a person in my life, not far, he was my second cousin. His vision was impaired right from his birth, the improper medication during his moms’ pregnancy, the immature birth of the child, underdeveloped country with poor healthcare system. You can find millions of reasons for it. But the ultimate truth is he was born blind.

He was blind, even though his eyes looked perfectly normal, beautiful, like a pair of almonds. It took a while for the parents to figure out but as his vision was not focused, successive eye-check-ups and time revealed the bitter truth. The medical reason was the dry optic nerve, the nerve which connects eyes to the brain. The dryness causes the optic nerve to be partly dysfunctional. In under-developed country finding the medical cause for his blindness was also impossible. There were no slim chances of getting it operated and cured. He has to live his life without vision. He was nonetheless a bright kid; he learned Brail and started reading and writing. Gradually he completed his middle school, high school and finally college degree in good standing. All this was possible by the generous support of all his family members especially his grandma and grandpa from his mother’s side. He is currently working towards his master’s degree in a neighboring country which is more prosperous and advanced in technology.

Recently, there were news about treating the dysfunctional optic nerve and the success rate was pretty high among patients who undertook the surgery. I thought to inform him and his parents about this news. My small help might give new rays of hope to his life. I contacted his parents and with some financial support from my side, he and his parents were willing to undertake the risk of getting the surgery. They finally decided to come to USA for the surgery. The information regarding the hospital, doctors, and the treatment plan was researched earlier. The financial help and other lodging support made their stay in USA possible. Finally, his left eye was operated, and he is doing medically well but his bandages are not removed yet and we are praying to the god for his vision.