28 years old and the only bread earner of a household of eight, Shabbir is a fruit seller, particularly falsas. When he managed to get his fruit cart he had high hopes for his future, he was relieved his father would not have the burden of running the house alone. With 5 younger siblings, there were already had too many mouths to feed. Only three of his siblings were in school, the two younger ones stay at home with their mother.
Shabbir still remembers the day he sold his first batch of fruit, the look of pride on his father’s face and the tears of happiness rolling down his mother’s eyes. He could finally shoulder the burden of his siblings’ education from that day on. Shabbir did not know then that soon he would soon be solely responsible for the roof over their heads and food on the table due to his father’s rapidly deteriorating health. Shabbir took a loan and got his father examined at a good hospital where he was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. His father a strong self-made man broke down in front of Shabbir upon hearing the news, he refused any treatment and locked himself in his room. The family’s grief was palpable, the man who had spent his life caring for his family now had his days numbered. Shabbir’s life came to a standstill, he went to work at 6 am and returned at 8 pm, after that he was his father’s constant companion. He barely slept at night, having to help his father with washroom runs and trying to make his life as comfortable as he possibly could. Previously a social person, he became a recluse and cut off ties with all his friends and acquaintances. His father’s illness and the toll of being the sole bread earner for his family started to show on his face.
He was so involved in caring for his father that he scarcely noticed that his vision would get blurred at times and as the months passed he was unable to see at all from his right eye and had limited vision in his left. His mother finally convinced him to go to a local clinic and get it checked where he was diagnosed with cataract in both eyes and advised immediate surgery. This felt like the final nail in the coffin, Shabbir felt his life come crashing down around him, he did not know how he would get the money for treatment and without surgery he would surely go blind. His family would have no source of income, no roof over their heads and would have the burden of another family member who was dependent for his every need. His mother was shattered, she prayed with all her heart for their troubles to go away and perhaps it was in answer to her heartfelt pleas that a friend told Shabbir about LRBT Korangi Hospital and its free eye care services for the poor.
Shabbir had a successful surgery and is back at work now, he feels like he has truly been given a second shot at life. “My father has decided to opt for treatment and finally my family sees a ray of hope after seeing me overcome my ordeal. I do not have words to describe how LRBT not only gave me my sight back but something much more valuable…. Hope for the future.”