LIGHTING UP LIVES!

It is so simple! Help Donate Eyes!

Just stop reading this for one moment and take a look around you! Isn’t this a beautiful world, filled with brilliant light and color? Now I would like you to get up from your seat and pour yourself a glass of water and bring it back and sip the cool clear life giving liquid as you continue reading further!

I am just getting you to appreciate the gift of eye sight that you so fortunately have, and most of the time this gift, like many other most precious gifts, is completely taken for granted. The value of your eye sight only comes to light, when, by accident, of some sort, or following a dreadful illness this most valuable gift of eye sight is lost forever!

We pray that such a horrifying event may never take place in anyone’s life, but if at all it does, a person’s life plunges into darkness, making him/her completely helpless and handicapped for life. This not only impacts the afflicted person, but his/her complete family, and ultimately the society at large as well.

Who would know what it is to be blind better than me? I have been blind ever since I was a child! Have been through and still go through unlimited challenges, and I pine to be able to, only once, be able to actually see this beautiful world, my handsome husband, my beautiful children and now my adorable grand children! But, alas, that will never be possible, for there is no cure for my blindness. Therefore, I have pledged to help those who are blind only because there are not enough corneas available, to transplant their damaged ones, so at least, they don’t remain in the dark just because we forget to donate the eyes of our departed loved ones! So please do join Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, and me, in our mission to eradicate curable blindness from all sections of society.

For, there are lacs of people, whose blindness can be cured and they can be helped to get their eyesight back! With a simple cornea transplant surgery, they will be able to do everything as easily as you can, and they will not suffer the pain of blindness ever again. Their world can be filled with light and they will become happy, productive and capable citizens again!

Only the Corneal tissue is removed and not the whole eye ball! The face of the donor suffers no disfigurement what so ever. The process is carried out with complete respect, regard and humility.

As you may be aware, corneal transplants are the only cure for corneal blindness. A common guess estimate says that while annually the country needs around 100,000 corneas to clear the backlog, only 40,000+ odd are harvested. The major reason, for this very low retrieval rate is misconceptions about the process and myths.

As per government of India figures (National programme for control of blindness); India has 1.3 million people suffering from corneal blindness. 75% of this is curable by cornea transplants. It is important to understand that majority of these 75% are children and adults; underscoring the need for a lasting solution to this problem. The economic burden of this and the sheer human suffering can only just be imagined.

The purpose of Project Jyoti is to assure that families at hospital are offered the opportunity to donate cornea, and that when such a donation is offered, it is responded to with compassion, professionalism and timeliness.

Some more information of eye donation and cornea below:

What is a Cornea?

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the irispupil, and anterior chamber. The cornea, with the anterior chamber and lensrefracts light, with the cornea accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power.

What are the Functions of the Cornea?

The Cornea helps to shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful matter. The cornea shares this protective task with the eyelids, the eye socket, tears, and the sclera, or white part of the eye.

The cornea acts as the eye’s outermost lens. It functions like a window that controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye. The cornea contributes between 65-75 percent of the eye’s total focusing power

What is Corneal Transplantation?

A cloudy cornea impedes the passage of light into the eye to the retina, resulting in poor vision or possibly even blindness. In this case, a corneal transplantation, which involves a surgical procedure to replace diseased cornea with a clear cornea, is necessary. The clear cornea is normally donated through an eye bank.

In a corneal transplant, the diseased cornea is removed and the new cornea is sewn into its place. Eye drops recommended by your eye Doctor must be applied over the next few months to aid the healing process. Thanks to modern technological advances, corneal transplantation is performed with a high success rate and has restored sight to many who otherwise have been blind.

eye1eye2

Pictures of Pre and Post Keratoplasty Surgery (Corneal Transplant Surgery)

Some of the barriers of Eye Donation are -religious beliefs, improper knowledge around eye donation, notifications not received by the eye bank for counseling, lack of awareness in society, etc.

Please find below, some important information to be given to family members of deceased persons, who wish to donate the cornea of their departed, loved one.

If you would like to donate the corneas of someone from within your family/friends following their demise, do please make sure that you take care and perform the below mentioned actions. This will ensure that the quality of the corneas donated by you is preserved, so that they do successfully give sight to 2 currently blind people!

Please note: the corneas need to be removed within 6 to 7 hours from the time of death, therefore, one needs to call the eye bank as soon as possible following any death. And you need to ensure the below instructions are followed:

  1. Eyes should be closed after death to avoid tissue damage.
  2. It is advisable to put Wet cotton/gauze/wet cloth after the death of the person to keep the eyes moist.
  3. Switch off fans and AC/Cooler can be put on.
  4. The room should have some space some space for the Eye retrieval technician to retrieve the tissue properly.
  5. The family members should be informed that 10cc of blood will be taken for serology testing.
  6. Next of Kin has to sign a consent form along with two witnesses for eye donation.
  7. Anybody can donate eyes. If the deceased has undergone any surgery (Eye or Other parts) than also eyes can be donated. People suffering from BP, Diabetes can also donate their eyes.

What actually needs to happen to make Eye Donation, Cornea Retrieval, successful?

You can help us achieve this! Here is how:

Please motivate and counsel everyone you know to remember to actually make this noble cornea donation. To just make a call to the Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital Eye Bank, or simply text or call me on this number: 91 9871701646, and share with us the phone number of the family member of the person who has left this world for his/her Heavenly abode.

We do sincerely hope that you will support us in restoring eyesight for the lacs of waiting corneal blind children and adults in our country!

The author can be reached at preeti.monga@silver-linings.org

Preeti Monga

Blind since childhood, Preeti Monga has been singlehandedly working towards improving lives - impacting millions through her unremitting and arduous efforts for the last three decades. She is the Founder and CEO of the Silver Linings Trust & Silver Linings Services and is Director Project, of Project Jyoti of the Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital. Her work encompasses, promoting Comprehensive Inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream society, supporting gender issues, and facilitating Cornea Retrieval. In addition, she runs an Executive Search and training business.

4 Comments

  1. Sougat Mohapatra · May 6, 2016 Reply

    Speechless. There are people who are doing wonders like God do. Words are not enough to appreciate her work. I would say she is a messenger of God. An example for every human. We are with her and of course with ORGAN India. Lets do whatever we can do for DAPs.

  2. Dr Dhiraj Malik · May 6, 2016 Reply

    Don’t take your organs to heaven they are needed on earth too 😊🙏 !!

  3. vilas jalpur · May 6, 2016 Reply

    hi i have already donated my all organs,and i wish to donate my whole body its called deh daan,im holding a card from ORGAN INDIA parashar fondation d119 defence colony n delhi 11oo24 ph 01141838382,its always in my wallet

    • ORGAN India
      ORGAN India · September 28, 2018 Reply

      Hi Vilas, Please go to our website http://www.organindia.org and look through the Body Donation Directory. You will find a College/institute near you where you can donate your body. Please contact them and fill out the forms etc.

      Regards,
      ORGAN India Team

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