Tears of joy for Iranian boy

But in the midst of all his surgeries and procedures, Karime was beginning to have trouble with a specific area of his face: His one functioning eye.

While an artificial eye was placed in the socket that was structured by previous surgeons, Karime's functioning eye lacked a tear duct to help control the tears that are produced around the eye.

According to Dr. George Stasior, a Latham ophthalmologist and surgeon, tear ducts are particularly important to the eye because without them, blurred vision and infections can result.

For a child with one eye, impairment to the eye could be detrimental to Karime's overall sight, Stasior said.

A day before the surgery, Karime, whose family was staying in Amsterdam with Baghaei-Rad, was celebrating a birthday.

"It's his birthday and we want him to be happy " not thinking of surgeries," said Baghaei-Rad.

At 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 23, Stasior performed the tear-duct surgery that would enable Karime to blink over and over again without fear of being blinded by the tears he could not control. By inserting a small Pyrex glass tube from the corner of Karime's eyelid to his nose, Stasior was confident that Karime would be able to have the same functions as individuals born with tear ducts have, within four to six weeks.

Stasior said he had been performing "about 45 tear duct surgeries," like this per year, but that cases like Karime's come along rarely.

And for a case as unique as Karime's, most of the doctors and specialists Karime has met with in his time in America have treated him without cost.

However, Karime's surgeries would also not have been made possible without contributions from people in the community, like Peter Bulgar, chief operating officer of CL King and Associates Inc.

"Dr. Stasior indicated that there was a need to raise some money. I think between a few of us, they raised a few thousand dollars," said Bulgar. "[Dr. Stasior] is a very caring, credible surgeon and he was just explaining the situation and it just seemed like a good thing to do."

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