“Even if someone crossed me, I could not see”, said Lajvanti, who belongs to a family of five sisters and four brothers. Out of this family of nine siblings, seven shared the same complaint about their vision.
What started as a pricking sensation in their eyes gradually snowballed into a condition wherein the siblings could not identify people who stood right in front of them. If they stepped out into the daylight, their eyes would start watering.
Prakash, one of the elder siblings, never mentioned his condition to anyone even though it would interfere with his work. In 2017, his children learnt about his problem and took him to a doctor who was unable to provide any solution to him.
When the siblings’ family members started becoming more aware of their situation, they stepped in to help out. The wives learnt how to ride a motorbike and started working at the family’s shop to ease their spouse’s woes.
The family also decided to visit the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, where Dr Prashant Garg examined their condition. After a thorough examination, he was able to determine that the brothers and sisters were suffering from a disorder known as macular corneal dystrophy, whereby the cornea becomes cloudy.
It is an inherited disorder, which is why many members of the same family suffered from the condition. While the disease starts at birth, it becomes increasingly intense with age. After diagnosing the family’s problem, Dr. decided on a clear path of action.
A corneal transplant was performed for five of the siblings on the same day, which was completed successfully. All of them felt significant improvement in their condition and quality of vision. After the surgery, the siblings felt like they were seeing their familiar world in a completely new way. Being able to see the faces of their loved ones and recognizing the nooks and corners of their homemade them extremely emotional.
One of the siblings who remembered seeing her granddaughter only as a child was jubilant to see her blossom into a teenager. The entire family felt ecstatic and grateful that after almost 30 years of visual impairment, they had received life-changing treatment at the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute.