Bakhtawar, a thirteen-year-old patient from Sakro, spends her days working rather than attending school. The family works hard to keep a roof over their heads, with Bakhtawar helping her parents tend to a small patch of farmland and her father taking on an additional job as a rickshaw driver to supplement their income.
Bakhtawar’s parents noticed that she struggled to focus on certain tasks but were unable to afford to take her to a doctor for an eye examination. As she grew, they continued to worry about her weak eyesight, particularly after she had fallen while helping her mother in the kitchen. It was then that Bakhtawar’s mother noticed a translucent reflection in her left eye. Knowing the family could not afford medical care, she spoke with her brother, who suggested they take Bakhtawar to the LRBT Primary Eye Care Clinic in Gharo.
At the clinic the family was told that Bakhtawar had congenital cataracts in both eyes and would require surgery. The news immediately caused her parents to worry, as they were unsure as to how they would afford to travel to Karachi for surgery. The team quickly assured them that all transportation and meals would be arranged by LRBT, and that Bakhtawar would be comfortable throughout her journey and stay in Karachi.
Bakhtawar was one of 60 patients identified by the LRBT Gharo Primary Eye Care Clinic requiring surgery in Karachi. Shortly after her diagnosis, she was brought to LRBT Korangi for further examination and her cataract surgery, which took place the following Thursday.
Travelling to Karachi was an exciting adventure for Bakhtawar, who rarely had the opportunity to leave Sakro. It was a new experience to see the world beyond her village. Although her parents were nervous about their journey, they were extremely comfortable with the level of care Bakhtawar had received from LRBT thus far. Once the family reached the Korangi hospital, it felt as though young Bakhtawar was in a different world. She had not anticipated the sheer size of the hospital, or even the number of people receiving care there.
Bakhtawar’s left eye was successfully operated on, and after complete recovery she will be visiting Korangi once again for her second surgery. Her parents were immensely grateful to the staff in both Gharo and Korangi for their compassionate nature and dedication to their work.
“For people like us this level of medical care is unimaginable. Had it not been for LRBT, our daughter would have lost her vision completely in just a few short years,” her father stated. “Now that Bakhtawar is on the road to recovery she has become more confident when leaving the house and has expressed a desire to attend school.”
Bakhtawar, upon her journey home, said, “Thank you LRBT for helping children like me. I have been suffering from vision loss since I was a child, and now I am happier than ever as I can see properly.”