SIGHTSAVERS INTERNATIONAL: Infant Ismail from Bangladesh Can See ForThe First Time
Eight-month-old Ismail Hossain comes from a deeply impoverished village in Bangladesh. Born with cerebral palsy and cataracts in both eyes which have left him completely blind, he lives in a one-roomed hut with his two-year-old brother Ibrahim, mother Monni and father Delowar Hossain.
Frightened and tired, Monni carried Ismail into the hospital in one arm and a plastic bag with his belongings in the other. While Ismail was in surgery Monni couldn’t sit down. After what seemed like an eternity Ismail was out of surgery and Monni could breathe again.
The next day, the doctors began removing his eye bandages. Unaware of what was happening, but aware he was in a strange place among strange people, Ismail started to cry. Monni said his name over and over – she had always done this to comfort him and to remind him she was there – and soon his tears stopped.
The bandages were off and what I saw next was quite miraculous. Ismail’s eyes were screwed up tightly. Slowly, he tried opening them, but I could see he had no idea what was happening. As his eyes opened wider Ismail looked shocked. He was seeing the world for the first time! He turned his head to the familiar voice he’d heard since he was born, we watched as he registered that the person holding him tightly in her arms was his mother. That moment, when they looked at each other, was the miracle. This is what your donations paid for. It costs only $152 ($76 per eye) to provide the cataract surgery Ismail and tens of thousands of other children need to see for the first time.
Although they still have a lot of hardship to face day-to-day, the successful operation had opened up Ismail’s world and made life a little bit easier him and his family.
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