Stem cells may help Mumbai acid attack victim regain vision: doctors

Ophthalmologists are hoping that Preeti Rathi, 25, who lost vision in her right eye after an unknown man threw acid on her face at Bandra Terminus, may be able to regain her vision after undergoing stem cell therapy.

On Saturday morning, Rathi, who was admitted inside the burns intensive care unit at Masina Hospital at Byculla, scribbled a note pleading her ophthalmologist Dr Yasmin Bhagat to help her see with both eyes again.

“We have helped patients of acid attack to regain vision by using stem cell therapy in the past. Once she (Rathi) recovers fully we can look at harvesting stem cells from her parents’ eye and transplanting them in her right eye as the cornea is damaged by the acid,” said Dr Bhagat.

Doctors said that her condition is stable and she was put on ventilator support for a few hours to give her rest. According to doctors, Rathi’s face is fully bandaged while her eyes are stil shut. “She cannot see but her left eye is showing improvement.” added Bhagat who has treated numerous such acid attack victims in the past.

Rathi’s father Amarsingh is planning to meet officials from INHS Asvini, where Preeti was supposed join as a nurse, to postpone her joining date. “If they postpone her joining, she would be very happy,” said Amarsingh

Meanwhile, The Bandra Government Railway Police (GRP), who are probing the acid attack, have scanned the passenger list of train in which the accused was travelling. Further probe is underway.


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