Multiple surgeries fail to restore vision of pellet-hit youth in IOK

Srinagar, December 24, 2016 (PPI-OT):In occupied Kashmir, multiple surgeries are failing to restore the vision of many pellet-hit youth yet the ophthalmological ward at SMHS hospital is again witnessing rush of victims of the lethal weapon.

The ward which remained packed with patients during the past five months of uprising was witnessing limited rush of patients. However, it is again getting stuffed due to the visit of noted vitreo retinal surgeon, Dr Natrajan.

Arif Javaid, 18, who runs a store, was injured in the right eye by a pellet fired by Indian forces on October 7 while he was protesting peacefully. “Doctors told me the pellet had damaged my eye grievously yet I hoped my wound would heal,” Arif, a resident of Beerwah area of Budgam district said. “Unfortunately, I am not able to see anything since morning,” he added.

Arif was on Thursday operated upon by Dr Natrajan, who is on his fourth visit to occupied Kashmir. However, Arif feels the surgeries have taken away the little vision he had.

Saqib Tenzu, a 9th standard student, also could not regain vision with the surgeries he underwent but the hope of a miracle keeps him alive. “When I was operated for the second time, I did regain some vision for a few days but darkness enveloped again,” he said.

Suhail Ahmad, whose vision improved a little, said, “When doctors operated upon me for the second time, my vision started improving after a couple of months. On Thursday, they operated upon me again but I am less hopeful of the success of surgery.”

Dr Natrajan, who has operated upon 157 patients during his three visits to occupied Kashmir, said that the patients could not regain normal vision but would regain some vision that would help them see light or hand movement.

On why most pellets victims are not regaining vision after multiple surgeries, Dr Natrajan said, “These patients are suffering from post-traumatic proliferative vitreoretinopathy, a common complication that develops in patients with an open-globe injury, and there are no medicines available in the market to treat it.”

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