“Eye donation is human responsibility”

On the 10th of August 2003, a felicitation program was arranged by Rotary club of Pune in the Auditorium of The B.J. Medical college. There was a pin drop silence. Everyone who were present there had lost some of their loved one and donated their organs for the cause of humanity. All were trying to cope up with their grief, an inevitable part of life, an irreparable loss with endless pain forever. Losing someone very close to heart is much more than grief and mourning. It’s very difficult to accept that fact. My father’s name was announced and he was felicitated with a certificate for my mother’s eye donation. 

We received a letter from “Rotary Club of Pune” on the 1st of August 2003, stating “Thanks for donating eyes of your loved one, two people are blessed with sight.” These words expressed successful eye donation of my mother and tears rolled down my cheeks.

On the 3rd of July 2003, it was my weekly off. My door bell rang early in the morning, I opened the door to see my father standing, before I could ask him, he said, “Your Mummy is not feeling well, please come quickly”. Hurriedly I moved to my parent’s home which was just two buildings apart. As I entered, I saw my mom with pale face, I went near her and she gave me a tight hug and tears rolled down her cheeks, when asked if she was fine, she said, “It seems the time is very near”. I hold her in my arms and tried to convince her that all will be fine. My father told me that she had vomited early in the morning with heavy sweating. I realise that there was a medical emergency and we rushed her to the hospital. While leaving for hospital, she waived her hand saying good bye to my father and reminded him of eye donation card. 

She was admitted to ICU for further tests. She was served with lunch and was looking much stable. I decided to go home to finish my pending household chores and return back. I informed ICU nurse accordingly. In 10 minutes, I reached home and I heard my neighbour calling me and informing me that there was an emergency call from ICU. Her daughter was a dietician in the same hospital, she had heard the continuous announcement of my mother’s name and her attendant to reach ICU immediately. I rushed back to the hospital. Luckily, she got immediate medical help and she regained her pulse in sometime. She had a massive heart attack then. 

My mother was a school teacher, a very loving, caring, humble and yet a very strong and practical lady. My father was a retired Govt. Officer. He was working for Central Bee Research Institute, Pune and had devoted 54 years of his life in conserving honey bees. He was in process of writing a book.  Both of them had filled eye donation form through pensioner’s association. My parents decided to shift to Pune from Indore to be near to either of us. 

In few days my mother was in a stable condition. She was discharged from the hospital. My sister joined me and we both were taking her care along with family members.  Ever since my parents shifted to Pune, my life was full of joy, spending time with them and my son enjoying their company. I was emotionally and mentally attached to my mother. I could never imagine my existence without her. She was a perfect Mom and a perfect grandmother too. Doctor had informed that only 20% of her heart was working. Life is so uncertain, I realised then. Every time she reminded me of eye donation and every time it left me with wet eyes. 

It was the 19th of July 2003 at about 11.30 am she vomited and was profusely sweating, that made me very scared. I prayed to God for her life. Within a fraction of second, I saw her turning her eyes upside. It was again a heart attack, we rushed her to the hospital. Again, she was admitted in ICU…………………………………………………………….

Everything was calm and quiet now, no hassle, no pain no struggle for life. I saw her peacefully sleeping with her closed eyes with a flat line on heart Monitor. She was on her journey to heaven leaving all of us behind.

As per her wish it was time to donate her eyes. We contacted Ruby Hall and within no time, the entire team reached our home. It took about 15 minutes for the process. Eye donation was done successfully.

I was lost in the past. Memories never fade away. The letter that we received from Rotary Club of Pune was in my hand and my father was felicitated for this noble cause. 

I know those two people must be still in this world, somewhere far or near, I might have crossed then during these years, least knowing them. I love them too and I send them my regards and lots of love wherever they are, as my mother still exists in them. I wish I could ever meet them.

Quietly with tears rolling down my cheeks we exited the Auditorium with a satisfaction of fulfilling my mother’s last wish. She left a legacy of eye donation. 

Its 19 years now ever since I lost her, I still miss her. 

– Jyoti Bhakta