The parents of 11-year-old Rusul Raad Hussien from Baghdad, Iraq will have reason to smile when they fly back home from the city on Thursday.

Their daughter, who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and has the physical development of a two-year-old, has regained her vision. Rusul had gone totally blind due to complicated cataracts more than a year ago.

Last week, the child underwent glued intraocular surgery at Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital and is now able to see with both eyes.

“Rusul cannot walk as her bones are brittle due to rheumatoid arthritis. She has to be carried. She was referred to the hospital by a senior doctor in Iraq. She had developed complicated cataracts with inflammation in both eyes due to the problem in her joints and the intake of steroid medicines for it,” Amar Agarwal, chairman and managing director of the hospital told reporters on Wednesday.

However, doctors faced a challenge while administering anaesthesia.

“We could not insert a tube into her windpipe as the chest was protruding. So, we administered anaesthesia through the hand. We operated on one eye last Wednesday and then, on the other on Friday. The existing lens was removed and glued intraocular lenses were implanted in both eyes,” Dr. Agarwal explained.

Rusul is now able to read letters on a small vision card. Her parents — Raad Hussien and Iqdam Dawood — are happy that their daughter, youngest of their four children, can see them again.

“She was diagnosed with arthritis six months after birth but her sight was normal for eight years. Later, it started to deteriorate and she lost her vision completely a year ago. Doctors in Iraq had told us that she would never be able to see again,” Mr. Hussien, said.

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