All In The Mind – Sanjay in Dubai

All In The Mind – Sanjay in Dubai

In 1998 (the year I got married) I was diagnosed with a case of optic nerve head vascular mass with secondary retinal detachment.

Until that time I thought I had the best eyesight with no problems encountered, only to face the moment of truth. I was in total shock when I discovered that there was nothing that could be done to restore my eyesight (I was gradually losing sight in my right eye).

The case summary stated that anterior segment of the right eye revealed relative afferent pupillary defect and the evidence of secondary retinal detachment and an angioma of about 4-5 discdiameter in size was diagnosed.

There was a retinal cyst in the same location indicative of chronic retinal detachment. Whatever medical terminology used the fact was that the prognosis for vision was poor. That meant a lot to me, all I knew was that I was loosing sight in one eye, it came as a terrible shock, something that I least expected.

In denial with the current issues I went ahead with my marriage on 27-12-1998 and a year later was blessed with a beautiful baby girl born on 20-04-2000 (named her Sheena, which means God is gracious).

Life went on in stages, we had the birth of our second child a cute baby boy born on 16-07-2003 (named him Shannen, which means God’s gracious gift). We planned to migrate to Canada and in November 2004 we moved from the U.A.E to Mississauga in Ontario, Canada. The right eye kept bothering me as a result I had to use eye drops to control the intraocular pressure, the right eye had redness and pain.

I had to make a decision on the very little option I had, enucleating of the right eye with orbital implant and cosmetic eye shell. Well it was painful the very thought of someone amputate a part of your body although it served no purpose, I think it is extremely difficult to let go of any part of your body whether functional or not.

In the meanwhile we were finding it difficult to find good jobs in Canada, and when we (my wife and me) contacted our ex- Companies we were blessed, we got our jobs back, no waiting we returned to India, and very painfully I had my blind eye operated and removed on 05 March 2005.

It was really traumatic soon after my surgery, adjusting to eye loss was never easy adapting to monocular vision, well there was no counseling done or any professional support systems of any sort. But the best support and encouragement I ever had was from my wife Tina my brother Dinesh, my sister Sunanda, my parents, my immediate family and from God (the surgery made me get closer to God and I had good faith in him).

I thanked God that the surgery went on well, I heard cases of error where they operated on the good eye etc. I praised and thanked God at least I had vision in one eye and whatever happened the fact was that I could still see in one eye perhaps with a little more difficulty? I knew deep within what was the value of seeing in both eyes, is why God gave sight in both eyes.


Initially everything turned out to be more challenging, my taking a step to walk and the balance, the adjustments while climbing steps and the judgment, also people passing papers in the office and me actually holding it right?

In my workplace except for my boss no one actually knew that I had lost my eye and had vision in one eye? Now this turned out to be very motivating. I wanted to prove (to myself) that I could do anything a normal person with both eyesight could do.

I even got the employee of the year award out of a total of above 650 employees from a previous Company I worked in the UAE.

I felt proud of myself despite the difficulties I knew that deep within I could achieve anything I wanted to and overcome any hurdles that came my way. I even obtained my driving license. This is one thing I always doubted my cababilities.

I am driving now for almost a year and a half. The best part is that none of them were aware of my sight problem from the driving school, my training instructor, to the inspector who conducted my driving test.

Once again it was rewarding to know that anything is achievable if one has the determination to accomplish.

My loss of sight is a secret kept from my children (they are aged 9 & 5) and are too small and will be traumatized if they know the reality, eventually as they grow up I will unfold the truth. But as of now they only do know that I had an eye surgery.

Strength of Mind
My advise to people having similar problems of the eye. Do not give up, as I believe that we are learning something back from life and our purpose of existence.

While we are very much alive here on earth we have to contribute to life and here is our chance to do a part of our share regardless of our problem.

I feel a sense of pride in achieving even the most simplest of things, I think well I could do the same if not much better than most normal human beings (having sight in both eyes).

Recently in this new company of mine, where I got promoted to Assistant Manager – Risk Management and Internal Audit, I was rated best among other EXCO (executive committee members – Managers) the best part being that none of the staff in my Company are aware of my problem, and I feel great.

I have recently further enhanced my career by joining a MBA course. What I am trying to say is never ever say die, do the best that you can if we think negatively we are not going to be satisfied.

I do understand that it is no joke to lose an eye, but if we continue to think of what we do not have we will only miss on appreciating the things that we still have and which keep us going.


I now feel pleasant to share my problems. And I take this opportunity to thank my Ocularists Mr Paul Geelen who from the beginning has been so supportive, understanding and very kind, he looked very calm and confident.

From the first day and the moment I met him I was assured that everything would work out right. I had problems with my earlier prosthetic eye shell, done elsewhere in India, with complications of allergy and chronic infection in the eye socket caused by the poor fit of the prosthesis.

Thank God I came across an article in the Friday magazine on creating artificial acrylic eyes. Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai is a branch of Moorfields eye hospital London. I am very fortunate to having met Mr. Paul Geelen and experience his wonderful work, this new artificial eye is very comfortable.

Mr Geelen exposed me to his website and the bloggers and I thought that this would be an ideal thing to share my experiences and make someone feel that he or she is not the only one, exactly how I felt earlier. Life goes on.


  1. Sanjay’s artificial eye story on August 10, 2009 at 11:42 am

    […] You can read Sanjay’s story here. […]

    • Avatar for Kristina Kristina on January 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Sanjay,

      I am blind since birth but I have also found out in the one of friday’s magazine about Moorfield Hospital. I was embarresed to visit them but I made up my mind and went. I met with Paul, he was great. Unfourtunetly I could not tolerate the eye shell so he suggested to remove the eye and replace it with something else. I am scheduled for the surgery next month. I am scared, will I look natural or everyone will recognize it? I am scared maybe I will have allergy from the arcylic. I have read lots of stories about this on the net. Once the surgery done there is not way to reverse it. By the way, when I went to learn driving nobody knew that I am blind with one eye. Its not even mentioned on my driving license. Thanks for your story.

    • Avatar for Sanjay Sanjay on May 31, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Kristina,

      Do not be afraid. Time is a great healer, and with time all your fears will dissappear. Answering your question below, the artificial eye will look natural, unless someone knows, no one can recognize it (thanks to Dr. Paul, his work is great)

      If you need any further clarification or have any queries please feel free to ask

      Take care


  2. Avatar for kumar kumar on March 6, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    hii sir hw r u ? my name is kumar i lost my left eye in accident and my eye is totally removed according to doctors advise ,to save other eye without affecting due to this.. when i was 2 year colege this bad incident happended in my life.. Eventhough i studied my degree and other computer courses .. it is really difficult for me with one eye to handle ,, i m straining with one vision ..

    i dnt know hw im going to be in my rest of my life

    my age is 26 , my accident occured in 2003 dec month ..

    now i m wearing eye shell in my left eye whic is artifical ..

    i m afraid whether there wil be any prob in my one vision in future so that it wil spoil my life..i m blank ..

    i have read some stories who was afected due to some problems ,accidents,losses .. share with me

    my mail adress is

    • Avatar for Sanjay Rodrigues Sanjay Rodrigues on September 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      Hi Kumar,

      How are you doing? I apologize for not having responded earlier as i did not check this website for a while.

      Kumar i do understand your fears also about what the future holds for you? I have gone through the same feeling and confused thoughts but believe me time is a healer.

      With every passing day you will be confident as you can overcome hurdles that come your way. My advise is that you just take one day at a time (who has seen tomorrow?)believe in your capabilities and everything will eventually fall in place.

      I will also write to you at your yahoo e-mail.

      Take care

  3. Avatar for Lakshmi Lakshmi on February 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Hi Sanjay,

    Read your story and it was really a councelling for very grateful to you.

    And i would like to know the cost for this procedure.Is it very Expensive?I have a prosthetic eye,done in India.which can easily recognise.Iwould like to do it from dubai as my hubby is working there.Please let me know the approaximate cost if you dont mind.



    • Avatar for Sanjay Sanjay on June 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Lakshmi,

      Apologize for not having replied earlier, just happened to see your response. Well if you intend to do it in Dubai it will cost approximately AED 5K for the cosmetic shell. It all depends this cost was around 2 years ago?

      You can contact me on my personal address( if you like or if you need further info.
      Dr Paul Geelen is great with his work (in prosthetic/cosmetic shell)he travels from Australia and is in Dubai frequently at Moorfield eye hospital, health care city, Dubai.

      Take care


  4. Metodo Gabriel on July 25, 2011 at 6:17 am

    […]here are some links to a few sites that we link to because we think they are worth taking a look at[…]……

  5. Avatar for Amor Amor on November 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Sanjay,

    I have always known that there is something special about you. Something that i wont see from any random people. It’s your determination, your passion and extraordinary gift of encouragement.

    Your story is like a breath of hope and an assurance that everything will turn out right, even in the middle of the storm.

    You’ve always been a big brother to me and i have always run to you if i have problems financially or work wise. No wonder why you always know the right words to say…

    Now, i’m thankful for sharing this secret to us [your GIMEL family]. You have left a mark in our hearts, and lesson that we will always treasure forever.

  6. Avatar for Kellee Kellee on March 21, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Hi Sanjay,
    I just found this website. Very wonderful testimony.
    My 14 year old son lost his eye last week due to an injury.
    It’s going to be a long road, however, like you, we have faith in the Lord. We know all things work together for good, to them that love God and those that are called according to his purpose.
    Your story helped us a lot. Thanks so much.

    If you can, can you please drop a line to my son, Sammy. My email is
    God Bless you

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