In a complicated surgery that lasted three hours, Kashmiri resident Insha Mushtaq was operated upon in Mumbai in a final attempt to regain sight, at least partially, after the 14-year-old was hit in the skull, forehead and eyes by over 300 pellet shreds.
On Tuesday, eye surgeon Dr S Natarajan conducted an intricate procedure on an area of one centimetre in which he attempted to repair the damaged cornea and reattach the retina. “The pellet shot had pierced through her eye taking away one-third of the retina. We may have to wait for few days, or three to six months to see the results,” Natarajan said.
Insha, a ninth-grade student, has attracted widespread attention after becoming a victim of the ongoing Kashmir outrage since last two months.
She will be kept under observation for few more days at Wadala-based Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital.
According to Adik Kadam, attached with Borderless Foudation, who first approached Natarajan with Insha’s case, the girl was hit by pellet shots in July in her hometown Seadow Shopian in Kashmir when she attempted to look at the clash between locals and the army from her first-floor window.
She was taken to Shree Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital and later transferred to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, where she underwent treatment for one and a half months. A neurosurgery along with treatment to control meningitis was done. Last week, she was transferred to Wadala’s Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital for one last surgery to regain vision.
On Tuesday, her father Mushtaq Ahmed (38), a farmer, told The Indian Express, “She could just manage to say she is fine after the surgery. We do not know if she will ever be able to see again but we are hopeful.”
Insha has two younger brothers. Ahmed and his wife Afroza (36) are staying with their daughter in Mumbai until her treatment gets over. Ahmed’s younger brother, a labourer, is earning for the family.
According to Natarajan, the surgery was planned after consultation with John Hopkins University and International Society for Ocular Trauma. While Insha’s right eye has “completely shrunk”, her left eye is in the process of “sinking”, a doctor said. “It is a macro surgery. We first removed the lens. It is a peculiar case where the vitreous has plastered itself to the retina,” Natarajan said.
The doctor is set to visit Kashmir on September 20 where 100 patients with pellet injuries are lined up for operations. According to him, in such cases, the faster a surgery is done, the more the chances of vision recovery are. In Insha’s case, a delay of two months has already taken away vision of her one eye.