He has successfully restored the vision of five blind school students including a post graduate of Gulbarga University through keratoplasty and corrective surgeries over the last couple of months, an achievement considering that ophthalmologist hardly venture into the tackling blindness from birth as as chances of restoration of vision are presumed to be bleak.
Dr Kamalapurkar says he could have done more if eyes available through cadaver donation were available. Unfortunately due to lack of awareness, availability of eyes from cadavers is rare.
Only of late, people have started pledging their eyes but the number of such donations have remained few. However, when a woman donated her eyes recently, the doctor who has established a state-of-the-art eye bank, one of its kind in Hyderabad-Karnataka region did not lose time and ventured into keratoplasty. The maiden beneficiary was the 18-year old Sidramaiah, a 9th standard student of the Government High School for Blind here.
A few days after the operation, the son of the woman who had donated her eyes passed away and before his death, he too emulated his mother’s example by donating his eyes.
Dr Kamalapurkar performed the second eye transplantation successfully on Mohammed Rafeeq (15) also of the Blind School on January 27.
Dr Kamalapurkar has also done the most complicated corrective surgeries successfully on the blind school boys. Rafeeq (25) an orphan lodged in the blind school had no right eye, a condition called anophthalomos. The left eye was macrophthalmos, 40 per cent of the size of the normal eye, coupled with coloboma lacking retinal tissue.
“I had an initial hesitation on experimenting with an orphan boy. But Regional Commissioner Rajneesh Goel gave the green signal. As a result, Rafeeq has vision,” remarked Dr Kamalapurkar. Equally challenging was the case of the Veeresh (23) an MA final student in Gulbarga University and blind by birth. He underwent phacoemulsification with foldable lens implant and anterior vitrectomy.
He has been restored vision. Veeresh has a peculiar problem. He can see objects and cannot identify them. “Veeresh has the vision of the level of newborn as visual centre of his brain has never perceived any image,” the doctor says. “I very well see the things but cannot identify them. I am confident I will overcome this problem shortly by learning things from a, b, c,” a hopeful Veeresh says.