Mashtama from Quetta, was about 5 when her parents realized that she had problems with her vision. Matters took a turn for the worse when white spots appeared on her cornea and her eyes started looking opaque.
An ophthalmologist diagnosed Mashtama with corneal opacity and the only possible cure was corneal transplants. Surgery was completely unaffordable for Mashtama’s father, a farmer and surgery was not available in Quetta.
Years passed. Mashtama spoke very little and felt rejected even by her own siblings. For her parents, who adored her, she nevertheless became a lifelong responsibility.
When Mashtama was eight, a relative who worked as a taxi remembered having once taken a passenger to a free eye care hospital for the poor – LRBT Korangi. More importantly, he also recalled being told by the passenger that there was an LRBT hospital in Quetta.
After her preliminary checkup she was referred to LRBT’s specialist paediatric unit at Korangi, in Karachi.
Unfortunately, very few corneas are donated in Pakistan, instead they come from Sri Lanka and when they became available, Mashtama was scheduled for surgery.
Mashtama can now see.