Wednesday, 14 Jul 2021
Two significant things happened in the life of Salman when he was five years old. He started school, and sadly his eyesight began to noticeably deteriorate.
“He told me that he couldn’t see the letters on the blackboard, especially with the right eye. At first, I thought it was because the boy was yet to learn the letters of the alphabets,” recalled Salman’s mother Aisha.
“But within a few months, he came back saying he couldn’t see distant objects clearly with both eyes. That’s when I realized that the boy had some serious difficulty with his eyesight.”
Salman and his family live in central India, where there was a lack of basic sanitation and clean drinking water. His father, Sharafat, earned only 6,000 rupees (approximately $105AUD) a month.
A local eye clinic recommended cataract surgery. However, the prospect of paying for this surgery was not feasible for Salman’s family.
“We tried to borrow money from our relatives and a local pawnbroker, but in vain. Gradually, we gave up all hope,” lamented Salman’s mother, Aisha.
All the while, Salman found himself struggling more and more at school despite his best efforts. He repeated grade one and was regularly teased by classmates.
“After school, he sits at home and tries to revise what he learnt in class. It’s worrying how he holds the book so close to his eyes. After a while, his eyes start itching and watering,” said Aisha.
Through Salman’s school, his parents discovered a CBM partner organisation that provides outreach services, school screenings and access to free eye care.
When he was eight, Salman was officially diagnosed with bilateral cataracts and booked in for surgery. Since the problem had been evident for three years, immediate medical intervention was needed to prevent a permanent loss of vision.
Salman’s right eye was treated first and his first words after having his eye patch removed were to his mother: “I think I can see you better, mama… Your face doesn’t look blurry anymore!”
He was prescribed a new pair of glasses and follow-up surgery on his left eye was booked.
The success of the surgery was evident right away, as Salman beamed from ear to ear that “everything looks so bright and colourful!”
The little boy spoke with enthusiasm about his newfound hopes and dreams for the future.
“I’ll make new friends at school. I’ll play football and cricket with them. I’ll work hard and do well in my studies. I’ll become a doctor… I’ll also rid children of their blurry vision.”
It was also a profoundly heartwarming moment for Aisha to see her a new side of her son.
“It’s so good to see Salman giggling like this. Thank you for bringing his smile back.”
This Miracles Day, August 19, can you give the Miracle of sight to change the life of a child like Salman? Just $33 will provide sight-saving surgery to someone living in poverty. Give a Miracle today.