A blind teenager's sight could be restored with a simple operation - and Observer readers are being asked to help make it happen.
Muhammad Jamil, 14, comes from a remote village in
Pakistan where treatment for his debilitating eye condition cannot be found.
Now relatives are desperately attempting to raise enough cash to pay for an operation and follow-up care, which is set to cost £22,000. Relative Idris Amin, 48, from Cricklewood, first met Muhammad in his home village of Sadwal, in the Punjab region, and promised to bring him to England.
However, after initially being quoted £5,000 - a fee which he could pay - specialists increased the sum after discovering Muhammad's condition was more complicated than they first thought.
Mr Amin said: "This treatment will restore a young man's eyesight, it's as simple as that. At the moment he can only see light so his life is very depressing. He is staying with us and tries hard to help around the house because he doesn't like to be idle, but it's so hard for him.
"In Pakistan there is no braille or schools for the blind, so his life involves staying at home and moving between relatives' houses for something to do. The treatment he received in Pakistan has actually made his symptoms worse because they did not know what they were dealing with.
"Anyone who can help would be giving him his life back because it is worth little to him as it is."
Mr Amin, who lives with his four children in Yew Grove, said he was disappointed by the response of some charities and community groups, which have decided not to help fund the life-changing treatment, but said he hoped generous readers would come forward to help.
The electrician added: "Any donation, no matter how small could help. A mosque in Southall recently raised £700 and if just a few community groups helped us we would be well on our way."
Muhammad has been prescribed steroids in preparation for the operation, which would take place at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in central London if the money is raised.
The teenager, whose ambition is to become a doctor, enjoyed badminton and reading before his eye-sight began to deteriorate at the age of 11.
As cataracts in his eyes grew worse, he was forced to wear glasses and was mercilessly bullied at school. He said: "I'm very upset that I'm not normal and I would love to be able to see Britain and the sights of London. I would be forever thankful if I could see again."
Anyone who would like to help Muhammad can call the Observer on 020 8956 8194 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be put in touch with Mr Amin.