Siya's incredible tale of inheritance

Aboobacker, a caring father of two from Kerala, had suffered from retinoblastoma as a child. A chance inspection by his mother to rule out eye injury at play led to the discovery of “specks” in both the eyes, which turned out to be cancer, and it was too late to save one of his eyes. He has partial vision in just his right eye with which he manages some basic office work to support his family. To compound his sorrow, Aboobacker's first born, a boy, was also diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma. His condition, sadly, mirrored his father's – though diagnosed relatively early, the baby's right eye had to be removed when he was four months old. He too retains partial vision in his left eye and has been able to go to school, currently in 8th grade.

When Siya was born two years ago, Aboobacker and his wife were ready for the worst. Sure enough, an eight-day old Siya was diagnosed with the same condition and referred to LVPEI's Institute for Eye Cancer as it is reputed to be the best for such cases. The couple immediately rushed her to Hyderabad where Dr Swathi Kaliki was able to save both Siya's eyes. She retains perfect vision in one eye and partial vision in the other, and can look forward to an entirely normal life. For Aboobacker and Siya, the 36-hour train journeys from Kerala to Hyderabad every three months for check­ups, are now a journey of gratitude.