Organ donation: Edhi’s legacy lives on

SIUT retrieves corneas of philanthropist Aban Jamall and grafts them into two blind men

Our Correspondent July 26, 2016
SIUT retrieves corneas of philanthropist Aban Jamall and grafts them into two blind men. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The ultimate act of humanity of donating one's organs upon death, which received a big boost recently after Abdul Sattar Edhi donated his cornea, has been received enthusiastically in society as more people have come forward to take part in the noble cause.

The corneas of the late social worker and philanthropist Aban Jamall, who died on July 17, were retrieved on July 18 by the ophthalmological team of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) and grafted into two blind men.

"The pledge to donate corneal tissues has increased following the death of Edhi, who donated his eyes," said the spokesperson of SIUT. He added that so far, 300 people have pledged to donate their eyes upon death, which is a rapid increase.

Jamall, a prominent social worker and a well-known philanthropist of the metropolis, had listed herself with SIUT to donate her corneal tissues for the blind. The surgery was performed last week by the SIUT team of eye surgeons, led by Dr Akhtar Jamal, at the facility. The team grafted the corneas into the eyes of Mohammad Farooq and Ali Nawaz.

The recipients seemed happy and showed gratitude for the donor for being able to see the colours of life once again.

Forty-year-old Farooq, a labourer, lost his vision in early childhood and continued to suffer with different eye-related complications for a major part of his life. Nawaz, 42, suffered decreased vision in both of his eyes since childhood. He had been on the waiting list for corneal transplant for years.

Both the recipients, belonging to the low-income group of society with no regular income and a large family to support, had faced a number of problems before receiving the corneal tissues. However, now they are recounting their life's journey, which has miraculously been altered, said one of the family members of the recipients.

According to the SIUT spokesperson, the trend set by influential personalities will help encourage people to donate organs. People are accepting the trend, he said, adding that there exists, however, a need to spread education and awareness among the public regarding the issue.

Jamall, a mother of six, who passed away at the age of 78, has proved to be a messiah as her gifted corneas infused a new life in two people.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2016.


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