Mohammed Alkharbeesh, Gaza, March 2011
23 year old Mohammed Alkharbeesh is one the rare patients who come to us after successfully securing a permit to leave the Gaza Strip.
Mohammed has been blind in his left eye since birth. Last year, retinal detachment in his right eye rendered him completely sightless.
Mohammed is married, with a 22 year old wife and two boys, aged four and two. Mrs Alkharbeesh is a home-maker. Their two-year old son, Attallah, has suffered from watery discharge in both eyes since birth. Mohammed’s Grandfather lost vision in both eyes at 50 years.
When Mohammed lost his sight, he was forced to give up his job and stay at home. He, his wife and their children all live in one room and the family now depends on assistance of 1000 ILS (£175) every four months from the Palestinian Social Affairs Department. This is not much for the upkeep of an entire family. Without rehabilitation or a job Mohammed began to become aggressive towards his children and their mother.
Upon arrival at the Jerusalem Hospital, Mohammed was immediately scheduled for a Pars Plana vitrectomy and lensectomy surgery.
Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Posterior vitreous detachment, injury or trauma to the eye or head may cause a small tear in the retina. The tear allows vitreous fluid – the eye's clear internal jelly – to seep through it under the retina, and peel it away like a bubble in wallpaper. Initial detachment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina can detach, leading to vision loss and blindness. It is a medical emergency.
Vitrectomy is a surgery to remove some or all of the vitreous fluid from the eye. Pars Plana vitrectomy is a general term for a group of operations accomplished in the deeper part of the eye, all of which involve removing some or all of the vitreous.
In Mohammed’s case silicon oil was used to refill the eye and to reattach the retina.
The Retina is now flat under the silicon oil and Mohammed is recovering well. The sight in his right eye is now very likely to improve.
Mohammed said after his treatment, “We find every thing in the hospital great. We are very poor family – the hospital help us .it exempted the expenses of the treatment .We thank St John hospital for every thing.”
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