In a rare gesture, the father of an infant, who survived only 30 hours after birth, donated his son's eyes. The donation was carried out at Indian Medical Association's Eye Bank in Varanasi Monday.
Eye Bank officials lauded the father and said they would claim a world record for the youngest eye donor in India. They claimed the youngest so far was a boy from Mumbai, who survived for 32 hours.
Co–ordinator of the Eye Bank of the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS), Banaras Hindu University, Dr Anurag Tandon said: "It was around 6.30 am that they came with the kid and told us they wanted to donate his eyes. Immediately, our team of doctors arranged for the same and both his eyes were donated."
Dr Rai Chandrasekhar Singh, one of the two doctors involved in taking out the cornea, said: "The cornea has been preserved and sent to IMS–BHU. It will have to be transplanted within 96 hours."
"I got my wife admitted to Marwari hospital (in Godauliya of Varanasi) on Saturday morning. Around 9 pm, a baby boy was born through normal delivery," the father, Ashish Kumar (28), said.
Kumar, who teaches children dealing with visual, hearing and mental impairments under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan added that the boy's health was perfect.
"There was no problem with the child. He cried. He was being fed milk. His weight was right. We did not have even the slightest doubt about any of the parameters associated with a normal child," said Kumar.
Around 4 am Monday, his wife Anuradha felt her son was unusually cold.
"The doctors were immediately informed; our son was taken to the ICU. By 4.45 am, the doctor told us he was no more," said the father, who has been working with children since 2006.
Ashish and Anuradha had married on March 13, 2012, and this was their first baby. Kumar wanted to rush to BHU hospital in the hope of resuscitating the child. "But doctor told us they could only issue a death certificate," he said. As the family mourned, Kumar's elder brother Pradeep Kumar told him he could donate his son's eyes.
"He has been my inspiration throughout. It was on his advice that I joined this field, in which I work with children with various problems. I got my wife to do a course as well. When he told me about it, I started looking for numbers. But when we came to know the eye bank was nearby, we decided to rush there," said Kumar.
The last rites were performed subsequently.
Dr Tandon said: "The family is obviously going through trauma. But we laud the young man's effort. In due course, we will send letters to the Guinness Book of World Records and the Limca Book of Records, as we are quite sure that at 30 hours, he was the youngest eye donor. We are planning to felicitate the father at some point."Source
25 Dec 2013,