A few days ago, little Saddam got to know what the world looked like for the first time. His father, Faizal Kannadan, mother, Zuhara, and the doctors who removed cataract from Saddam's eyes are yet to get over the excitement.
Saddam was born blind nearly 10 months ago, the result of a rubella virus that Zuhara suffered during the early days of pregnancy.
But Saddam's twin brother, Laden, was not afflicted by such problems.
Last week, Saddam became the hero of Al-Shifa Hospital, Perinthalmanna, when a team of doctors led by Viji K. George removed the cataract from both his eyes.
Saddam became the youngest child to undergo a cataract surgery in this part of the world.
"It was a complicated surgery considering Saddam's age and blindness in both eyes," Dr. George said.
He said the international ophthalmic community was still debating whether intra-ocular lens should be put in a child before the age of five.
No lens was put in Saddam's eyes. The doctors removed his cataract. Saddam's story underscores the importance of early intervention in paediatric eye care. P. Unneen, chairman of the hospital, said there was an increase in early detection of child blindness owing to better facilities and awareness.
Saddam's parents took him to hospitals in Kozhikode a few months ago and the doctors confirmed he was totally blind.
What became a turning point in his life was the Kazhcha project, offered jointly by the Shifa Charitable Trust and Al-Shifa Hospital.
Dr. George and his team took up Saddam's case as a challenge and emerged successful in their endeavour.
Abdul Latheef Naha