Jasmin: The Youngest EK
The Desai family found it difficult to contemplate their young toddler going through any kind of surgery. But eye surgery was really important because they wanted their daughter, Jasmin, to have the best possible chance for her visual system to develop as normally as could be.
In the words of Zankhana Desai, her mom, “Her quality of life was terrible prior to the surgery. Every day was a challenge because she was really light sensitive to her world. This meant that she required keeping the curtains closed and keeping her in the dark. Her car rides were terrible as well. She needed to be covered with a blanket just to survive even a short ride, and, unlike most children, playing outside was out of the question for Jasmin, so she would play in the garage where the light was controlled.” It was not the kind of life her parents had envisioned for their young daughter.
Finding Dr. Price
Mr. and Mrs. Desai were referred to Dr. Price by their Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Dr. Michael Kipp from the Wheaton Eye Clinic in Wheaton, IL. They had been seeing Dr. Kipp for Jasmin’s exam’s (done under general anesthesia) and when he determined that she needed eye surgery, he referred them to Dr. Price. He knew of Dr. Price’s work with DSAEK/DSEK and informed the family that Dr. Price was one of the original surgeons to introduce the European procedure in the U.S. They decided to make an appointment to meet Dr. Price in order to get his opinion and to learn if he could perform the procedure on a child as young as 2 years old.
Mr. and Mrs. Desai had high expectations since Dr. Price had performed so many of these DSEK surgeries in the past. They were confident that he was very comfortable performing the procedure even though Jasmin would be his first 2 year old patient. Their only concern was that they wouldn’t know the outcome of the surgery until it was completed, so they knew they had to be patient.
New Surgery Brings Improvements
Jasmin’s first surgery was performed on her right eye in September followed by a second surgery on February 10, 2009. How do you keep a two year old quiet enough after surgery so that she does not jeopardize the eye’s healing? Mrs. Desai lay down with Jasmin to help her lie still and also used the captivating power of DVDs played on a portable DVD player to keep Jasmin occupied, and it worked well.
Since the surgery, says her father, Achyut Desai, the quality of her life has “…improved dramatically. She is not nearly as photosensitive as she used to be. I was really happy with Dr. Price and his group. He’s a great guy and very professional.”