Her bubbly and energetic personality was at risk, and she was in danger of going blind until Sightsavers stepped in to help. Scroll through the photos to read her story and see how her future was transformed thanks to supporters like you.
Muslima is a typical eight-year-old girl who loves to play outside with her friends. But her cataracts made her eyes sensitive to bright light, and she was often forced to stay inside away from the sun.
Muslima is very intelligent, but as her sight deteriorated she struggled to read and had started falling behind at school. It took her much longer than her classmates to complete her work, and without help she may have had to drop out of school altogether.
The only way she was able to read was by holding the book up very close to her face, and even then she struggled to see small print.
Her teacher realised she was having problems and encouraged her parents to visit Dr Mazmun Nahar, a Bangladeshi doctor who was trained in childhood blindness by Sightsavers. Dr Nahar diagnosed Muslima with cataracts and referred her to Khulna hospital in Bangladesh for surgery.
After a long and bumpy journey, Muslima arrived at the hospital. She was very nervous about her operation, but cataract surgery is a relatively straightforward operation that only takes about 60 minutes. It involves removing the eye’s clouded lens and replacing it with a clear artificial one.
Sightsavers performs more than 250,000 cataract surgeries every year in some of the world’s poorest countries, helping to restore sight for thousands of people.
The operation went well, but an uncomfortable night in the hospital ward took its toll on Muslima. She was distant and quiet as her bandages were removed, and her father watched nervously to see if her sight was better.
Muslima was able to return home the next day. As she left the hospital, she slowly started to become more aware of her surroundings as her vision cleared.
She enjoyed gazing out the window watching the world go by, and munching on the snacks she was given. She seemed a completely different person to the scared little girl who travelled to the hospital two days before.
As Muslima arrived home, she was greeted excitedly by her family. Keen to check his daughter’s sight, her father picked her up and pointed at some coconuts high in the trees. To the delight of her family, she said she could see them. This showed her sight is now near perfect.
Her mother and little sister were thrilled to have her home, and Muslima wasted no time in showing them her new-found writing and drawing skills. She drew colourful pictures as her sister looked on.
She could now finally see the paper, could identify colours and words quickly, and she was clearly enjoying playing and communicating with her family.