Santosh is a young 10-year-old boy who lives in the slum community by the riverbed. He was born with perfect eyesight, but unfortunate circumstances have led him to completely losing his vision at a tender age.
It all started in March this year when Santosh suddenly started complaining that his head hurt. His family contacted the Asha CHV who immediately took him to a hospital nearby. An MRI scan revealed that there was a small piece of paper stuck inside his brain. This paper had made its way through his ear canals. The paper had turned rotten which in turn was causing severe headaches. There was no time to lose and Santosh was scheduled for brain surgery right away. The surgery was a successful one with a few screws installed inside his brain. The doctors informed him that these screws would be removed after 10 years.
After a few months of the surgery, Santosh was playing in a patch of land beside his slum community. He slipped by chance and fell on his head. His head started swelling and aching, Santosh was in excruciating pain. The Asha CHV took him to the hospital and after a thorough check-up, the Doctors decided that he would have to go through another brain surgery and the screws would be replaced. This surgery was a success at first. However, on the second day, Santosh realized he couldn’t see as clearly as before. By the third day, Santosh had completely lost his eyesight and become blind.
Santosh’s poor parents were helpless and distraught. With 9 children in the family and an average income of Rs.150 a day ($ 2/£ 1.72), they could not afford to do anything but to accept fate. The Asha CHV counseled his parents not to lose hope and visit the reputed Government hospital AIIMS. There they were informed that the surgeon had damaged the nerve fibers that carry the visual signal from the eyes to the brain. It was a point of no return now.
Today Santosh is picking up the pieces and learning to live with his disability with every passing day. It is a daily struggle as he faces a lot of difficulty in daily activities such as eating and walking. However, Santosh still has not lost hope and says ‘I want to see again so that I can continue my studies. I know I will see again.’
Asha has been assisting Santosh and his family by providing counselling and guidance on how to handle a child with disabilities. Asha has also helped Santosh gain a disability card with which he will be able to gain access to medicines and health care easily. The Mahila Mandal (Women’s Association) in his slum community is also caring for Santosh by providing grocery items and assistance for visit to hospitals when and as required.
To donate for children from the slum such as Santosh, click here: https://bit.ly/2tFvdy3