50 year old Shahnaz Akhtar and her three sisters suffer from Vitiligo and reduced vision by birth. At 22 she got married to her cousin, but her marriage lasted for only a month as she could not perform her household chores efficiently due to her low vision. She was sent back home but the experience scarred her mentally. Her mother was so distressed that she suffered a heart attack and did not survive.
According to Shahnaz this was the worst period of her life. With no other place to go she started to live with her brother, who now had his five children and three disabled sisters to support. Time passed by and Shahnaz felt that her vision was deteriorating further and she feared turning completely blind. Her brother, who was in severe financial crisis, tried to commit of suicide and Shahnaz blamed herself for that too. She felt extremely helpless and guilty as she felt she had been a cause of the family’s problems.
One day, someone told her about LRBT free eye hospital at Lar near Multan which was close to her village and Shahnaz asked her sister in law to take her there but she said that its no use as there is no treatment for her blindness. She then asked her brother who took her there for a check up. She was diagnosed with bilateral cataract (both her eyes) and was operated at LRBT Lar hospital one eye at a time – free of cost.
Her surgery was successful and her eyes filled up with tears of happiness and gratitude to LRBT and its staff who treated her with such dignity and compassion. She said, “I can now be a useful member of my family. Thank you LRBT. Thank you donors. You have given me back my life