For many people, going blind is their worst nightmare, for the main reason that it will prevent them from seeing their loved ones, but that is exactly what happened to 35-year-old mother of three Mercy Muzmara, from Zambia.
She lost her sight following a severe reaction to an antibiotic which resulted in her eyelids being fused to her eyeballs and was unable to see her children for three whole years, the Boston Herald reported.
Ms Muzmara feared that she would never see them again, but thanks to a pioneering new operation in the US, has regained her vision and can now see her offspring.
She has experts at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to thank, and described the whole experience as a "miracle".
After being told that there was no hope for her in her native Africa, she was put in touch with experts at the Boston facility, who were able to utilise a new technique involving inserting button-sized, plastic artificial cornea inserted into her left eye.
It extends from her inner eye out past her eyelid and needed the involvement of a retina surgeon, glaucoma specialist and lead surgeon Dr. James Chodosh, who took six hours to carry out the procedure.
Dr Chodosh told the Herald that many people are to thank for the success of the operation with particular gratitude being directed to Dr Claes Dohlman, a colleague at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary who invented this type of artificial cornea.
"It wouldn"t have happened without all the people involved in it. [Dr Dohlman] worked on this device for decades," he explained
For Ms Muzmara, she can now get on with her life and do simple things such as ensure her children look clean and tidy, which she was unable to do before.
She told the newspaper: "I used to think miracles were stories in the Bible, but they are real. One happened to me."
by Adrian Galbreth