The Gift of

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When their third child, a girl, was born to Murli and Sheela in 2008, they were frightened and very worried. The child's irises and pupils were completely opaque and light blue in colour. The nurse at the general hospital where she was born advised the parents to consult an eye specialist. Murli, a resident of Sultanpur city and a drain repair worker by profession, then took his daughter to two well-known private practitioners, both of whom told him that treatment was not possible and that his best chance might be to go to Delhi and find out if the child could be treated. Then Murli and Sheela brought their daughter to IGEHRC Amethi. After preliminary investigation, they were referred to IGEHRC Lucknow, to Dr Kuldeep Srivastava. "Doctor sahib checked the child, said that she could be treated and then told us to return after a week," says Murli.

Investigations and diagnosis proved that the child had congenital glaucoma, a relatively rare disorder that afflicts one in 30-40,000 children. "One eye was very badly scarred, and the other one was a little better," says Dr Srivastava. "I decided to operate immediately - one eye was operated when the baby was 23 days old and the next one a week later. She has regained sight in one eye. The glaucoma was so advanced that had we not operated when we did, she would have lost both her eyes."

Today, Anchal, now about six year old, leads a near-normal life, and her parents are happy that she can see.