Eye Donation

EYE DONATION- A NOBLE ACT, WITH AN ADDED RESPONSIBILITY – S BALACHANDRAN, CGM, SBT I am just watching the 200th episode of the Surya TV’s popular programme “Deal or No Deal” featuring film star Mukhesh with Sri Kochouseph, promoter and CEO of V-Guard group and Rev. Father Chirammel. It seems more than a concidence that when I sat down to pen my thoughts on Organ donation, specially Eye-donation, this episode is playing on my Television set.

More than his entrepreneurial skill and management acumen Sri Kochouseph has been a personality for whom I have immense admiration on account of his rare humanitarian act a few years back when he donated a kidney for a needy patient and thus gave a new meaning and dimension to the much sullied and murky field of organ donation. Rev Father Chirammel was the person who prompted Sri Kochouseph to do this noble act. I am sure, the act of Sri Kochouseph would have sent out a message that one can be a donor of an organ without any fear of one’s own health and as a pure act of philanthropy.

I am sure more and more people , healthy people, would come forward to be donors without any monetary consideration. This reminds me of the supreme act of compassion shown by the doctor-couple fromTrichy a few years back. Their only son, was fatally involved in a motor accident on the Chennai highway. The parents rushed to the spot on hearing the news, only to see their only child, a son who they thiught would continue their noble profession, was in an almost critical state, with all symptoms ofan impending brain death.

The couple were flooded with phone calls from friends who offered the best of treatment if the boy could be brought to Chennai. Fully equipped ambulance was ready to carry out the job. The couple with prayers on their lips and dwindling hope in their hearts, accompanied the injured son in the vehicle, on its one hour journey. But the boy couldnot complete the journey and his brain switched off enroute. That was a moment when any parent would stop behaving rationally or with balance.

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Yet it was the mother who held her mind and suggested to her husband that they hurry with the body to the nearest best hospital, so that all the vital organs of the body could be salvaged and donated to needy persons. The husband did the rest by phoning up his friends anout their decision and requesting them to make arrangements for the extraction of the vital organs from their son’s body and arranging to locate needy recepients .

Cutting the long story short, today, this doctor-parents live with the satisfaction of their son still living through the four lives whom he saved in his death. The celstial level of their magnanimity is fit to be lauded in golden words. It is special persons like Sri Kochouseph and the doctors who inspire me. Of the ever increasing throng of persons needing oirgan transplants, it is the persons with Corneal blindness, who toip the list.

I rememebr having read that in India there are over 5 milion persons with this type of blindness, which can be cured if they can get suitable donors, in time. The easiest part of eye donation is that the donor can pledge to donate his eyes and the actual donation needs to be done only on the death of the donor. Having been a compulsive, voluntary blood donor ever since I reached the age of 19, I was much pained, when, in 2002 I was advised that I could no longer donate blood since I was hypertensive.

I had to cry a halt to my unbroken saga of 62 blood donations for 31 years. It was then that I decided to donate my eyes on my death. The only prayer I have today is that my eyes should be worthy of use at that time. This adds a major responsibility on me to keep my self safe from ailments that would affect the usability of my eyes. If my daily prayers include a wish to protect me from debilitating ailments, it is more to protect my eyes for whoever the recepient could be……….

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