Fest of lights turns future dark for kids

Deepavali turned tragic for dozens of young Bangaloreans, who risked the safety of their eyes while playing with fireworks on Monday and Tuesday.

Ravi, 8, whose left eye was operated upon following cracker-related injuries on Tuesday. DH Photo

The eye wounds of Adarsh, 9, and Ravi, 8, threatened to render them blind for life, as doctors ruled that they had minimal chance of regaining their sight. 

A momentary lapse proved costly for Adarsh. Although he wore spectacles as a precaution, he had taken them off for a while when a cracker burst in front of his right eye, in the neighbourhood of his Yediyur house on Monday.  He suffered an eyeball rupture.

Inconsolable, his father, Muthi Reddy, a driver in Corporation Bank, said it was not the fault of the person who lit the cracker. “I am aware of cracker injuries and in order to protect my son, I had asked him to wear spectacles while bursting crackers and he did follow it. He had just removed it for a while when the incident happened. He is my only son and I do not know what to do now,” Muthi Reddy said.

Adarsh is admitted at the Narayana Nethralaya hospital, recuperating after an initial surgery. According to Dr Bhujang Shetty, medical director of the hospital, the chances of the boy getting back his sight are bleak. “The boy has suffered a penetrating injury on his right eye which has ruptured his globe. We have performed the initial surgery. However, Adarsh may have to undergo more surgeries in future. Recovering from the injury will depend on how he will cope with infections and respond to the treatment,” he added.

Free treatment

Dr Shetty said his hospital normally treats cracker injury patients free of cost and in Adarsh’s case, despite being a serious injury which requires prolonged treatment, the hospital will bear the cost. 

Ravi, the son of a construction labourer from North Karnataka, was bursting crackers without elders’ supervision in Hoskote taluk, Varthur on Tuesday morning. The boy has no idea which cracker actually hit his left eye, which resulted in globe rupture.

According to doctors at Minto Hospital, the boy has suffered a severe corneal tear and had blood in his eyes when he was brought in.

“We have operated on the boy and given him doses of antibiotics. He may have to come back for follow-up surgeries. However, the chances of his getting back vision are few,” a doctor said.

Four-year-old boy, Chethan from Doddaballapur injured his eye after an incense stick accidentally poked his eye. The doctors at Minto Hospital have removed the stick and say that with proper treatment, the boy will recover and his vision will be restored.

Three branches of Narayana Nethralaya have received over 16 patients mainly with minor eye injuries. However, most of them were treated as outpatients. In Minto hospital, six patients were treated as outpatients. Doctors at Minto hospital said that this year the number of injury cases were fewer compared to previous years. Samprathi Eye Hospital received two minor injury cases. 

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