Nadir loves to play with toy cars. He also enjoys cricket and plays lots of other games with his uncle Mehedi, who is just 12 years old. His uncle tells us: “I have to help Nadir when we play with balls. If the ball is on the ground Nadir can’t find it, so I have to fetch it for him. I enjoy playing with Nadir – I’ve thought before that if his eyes were better it would be easier to play with him.”
Because of his cataracts, Nadir has to bring toys very close to his eyes to see them. Sometimes he can’t find his toys at all, and Nasima often has to help him track them down. Nadir can only play in the courtyard outside his home, where he knows his way around – his family are worried about him going any further. Yet he has a good sense of hearing: when he hears his mother or grandfather call him, he can tell where they are.
Nadir was born prematurely and was very malnourished. His family thought he might have passed away during childbirth, so they rushed him and his mother to a government-run hospital. “We were very worried,” says his grandfather Abdul. “We thought Nadir would die.” After seven days of treatment, Nadir’s health improved and he was allowed to go home with his mother.
Yet when Nadir was three months old, his family noticed white spots in his eyes and realised he was having problems with his vision. They took him to a free eye camp in a nearby area, where the doctors diagnosed him with cataracts but said he couldn’t be treated at the time as he was too young.
Nadir turned three, his family took him back to hospital. “We were very worried about Nadir’s eye condition,” says Abdul. “But when we contacted the hospital, the doctor assured us his eyesight could be cured and he will live a normal life.”
On the day of his operation, early in the morning, Nadir is prepped for surgery and taken into theatre. His operation takes just 30 to 40 minutes to transform his life.
When his bandages are removed, Nadir’s sight is still a little blurry, but a few days later he is able to see clearly for the first time in his life.
“Nadir is cured and can see everything,” says Abdul. “Before the surgery, one of his eyes looked small. But both eyes look equal now. Nadir was completely dependent on his mother or cousins – now he will be able to do things on his own. My hope for Nadir is that he will be educated. I will make sure of his education.”
Nadir is lucky: if he hadn’t had surgery by the time he turned seven, his sight may have never fully recovered. But thanks to donations from people like you, Nadir’s life has been transformed.
Will you donate today and help more children like Nadir on their miracle journey?
Dr Moira Chinthambi received a Sightsavers scholarship to train as an ophthalmologist and now works on our inclusive eye health programme in Malawi.
Alinafe Zaina is studying clinical ophthalmology in Malawi with the help of a scholarship provided by Sightsavers’ inclusive eye health programme.
We’re working with partners in Cameroon and Senegal to ensure people with disabilities are able to take part in every stage of the political process.