Retinoblastoma is the most common cancer of the eye among children, if diagnosed and treated early; children with retinoblastoma have an excellent prognosis. But the treatment is complicated, involving surgery, radiation treatment and multiple cycles of chemotherapy and blood replacement – treatment which is too expensive for most Indian families. Aravind doctors volunteer their time, but the donations received from Global Giving help us pay specialists and provide blood replacement and medication.
Today we would like to share with you a story of one of the patients who received free treatment at Aravind with the help of your support. The parents of a one year old child (patient) whose right eye was enucleated due to retinoblastoma; however the left eye was cured at Aravind Eye Hospital were thankful to all.
Rajesh (real name shielded), a one year old child, was brought to Aravind Eye Hospital -Madurai for a checkup when he developed a white spot on his right eye. After preliminary examination, a CT Scan was taken and the report confirmed retinoblastoma in the eye. The parents were informed and advised chemotherapy for the child. The shocked parents consented for the treatment which was given once in 23 days. In spite of the prolonged chemotherapy, the tumor could not be cured and the right eyeball had to be enucleated. By that time the disease had spread to the left eye however, it was in the initial stage.
One could understand the agony and grief of the parents to whom Rajesh was the only child. When chemotherapy was started on the second eye, they prayed and waited with hope that the eye will be saved somehow, so that the child’s life will not become gloomy.
When Rajesh was in his second year, his left eye was examined and the tumor was still there in a small size. Then it was given laser treatment and chemotherapy was also continued. On his second birthday, doctor examined his left eye and found the tumor completely cured. This good news sent the parents to the height of joy and they thanked God and the doctor for retaining the paradise of vision (atleast in one eye) for their son. They were advised to bring the baby for a follow up once in 3 months.
In the meanwhile Rajesh’s right eye socket was fixed with a prosthetic eye ball which looked like a normal eye. On seeing this, the parents felt as if he had regained the original eye. Now, the gloom of despondency in the small family has disappeared with the dawn of a bright light of joy.
Aravind Eye Care System is thankful to all the donors who join hands with Aravind in providing free treatment to the underserved and help further their mission of “eliminating needless blindness”.