Was lost in blind alley after acid attack over love
When Sanjaya Sandaruwan woke up on the morning of October 18, 2010, he had a life full of promise ahead of him. At 27 years of age, he was in the prime of his life, had a job working as a coach in the sports club of a tourist hotel, and was in love. But all his youthful hopes and dreams were shattered within a few seconds when he was viciously attacked with acid by those opposing his love affair, and his world was thrust into darkness. He was left with severe disfigurements to his face in addition to being completely blinded. He spent three months at the eye hospital and the next five years of his life in and out of hospitals. So far he has undergone 48 surgeries, including 12 eye surgeries.
After undergoing numerous tests and various treatments for a number of years, medical specialists concluded that the transplant of artificial corneas for both eyes was the only hope left to restore his vision at least partially. This surgery is not carried out in Sri Lanka, so he had to go to India, where he spent more than three months undergoing medical treatment. The follow-up surgery was done in a Sri Lankan private hospital with financial support from a group of generous donors.
After being blinded and disfigured, no-one was willing to give him a job and with the meagre salary of his father who worked as a day labourer as the only source of income for his family, there was no option but to seek help from donors to raise the money needed for the surgery. The warm hearts of many helped him face the surgery; and today, thanks to their contributions, the vision in his right eye has been partially restored. He still can’t see with his left eye because of extensive nerve damage but the doctors are hopeful that he will regain at least partial vision in that eye in the future.
He has accepted the fact that he can’t go back to his previous life and continue as before. All he needs now is to stand up on his own feet without being a burden to the others
This gift does not come without a cost however, because no surgery can do a job to equal Mother Nature. The artificial retinas that were transplanted in his eyes need regular maintenance. He is on lifelong medication to avoid the new retinas being rejected from his body, to keep the eyes moist, to avoid infections and so on, which costs him around Rs.15,000 per month. Doctors have warned him to take extensive care of his eyes because even the slightest damage may deny him the vision that was restored so painstakingly. Medical specialists even warned him that his vision could be
He has accepted the fact that he can’t go back to his previous life and continue as before. All he needs now is to stand up on his own feet without being a burden to the others. Even then, life continues to place obstacles in his path. With his vision being poor and with his eyes needing medication between very short intervals of time, he is unlikely to be employed in a company or to be able do hard labor. Now his biggest hope in life is to open up a small shop to support himself and his parents. In his own words, “I was given back my vision through the generosity of kind people. All I want now is to live my life without being a burden to others, while treasuring and safeguarding the gift of vision they gave me.”
However, the lack of capital needed to start even a small-scale business is holding him back from standing on his own feet. Thus, he once again seeks the help of generous souls as he takes his tentative first steps.
If you can assist him in any way, please contact him on his mobile number: 0712118745. His address is No.10, 5th Cross Street, Udasirigama, Lunuwila.
If you wish to send financial assistance, please forward it to his bank account by the name of A.S.S. Perera, 101954231835, Sampath Bank, Piliyandala.