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Donating Eyes after Death: Gift Light to Someone

"There is no lovelier way to thank God for your sight than by giving a helping hand to those in the dark." ~ Helen Keller

Think of a hypothetical situation – you are going to enter your house and are about to take your keys out from the bag to open the door, and the suddenly the power goes off! You are left helpless in the darkness scrambling through your bag for the keys, and even if you find them you hate to think what to do next as you have forgotten where you kept the candle and the lighter! Sounds difficult, right? But it is just the matter of a little time when there will be light again and you will breathe a sigh of relief. Think about the fate of those people who are stuck in this darkness all their life and how difficult it might be for them to cope with their day to day life!

You can bring these people into the light, and help them to do things they always wanted. You may be the one to help them see this colorful world, their parents, their friends -- and no, it is not that difficult. All that you have to do is to leave your eyes on the earth when you will be no more in this mortal abode. A small gesture of kindness can help not one, but two blind people savor the bliss of the beauty of the world around with your eyes. If the worst comes to pass, you know that even after the tragedy, there’s a ray of light. Volunteer to donate your organs, especially your eyes to make sure that even in death, you have saved lives.

Who can Donate?

Almost everyone can donate eyes.  Everybody above age of 1 year can pledge to donate their eyes after their death. And yes, it does not matter even if the person who intends to donate his/her eyes has medical history of hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis.

Even if the deceased person had a cataract in their lifetime or used to wear glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision, their eyes can be used to give sight to a blind person. That someone wore glasses or contact lenses makes no difference at all is something not many people are aware of.

How to Pledge? 

To donate your eyes, you have to take just few simple steps. Walk up to your nearest Eye Bank and fill up an Eye Pledge form. The form should be filled up with the correct details and also there should be one or two witnesses to sign the form after you have expressed the desire to donate your eyes after your death. The eye bank people will then provide you with a donor card which will have all the contact details of the eye bank. After the demise, the family or friends of the deceased are to contact the eye bank quickly to collect the eyes.

Please note, even if the deceased person has not pledged to donate their eyes in their lifetime, but the family and relatives of the deceased want to do so, it is taken as consent for donating eyes after death.

A Few Points to Remember

  • Once you have made the pledge, tell your friends and family of your noble intentions.
  • Carry the donor card along with you always. Make sure that it is signed.
  • If you want, you can check the "Donate any needed organs or tissues" box; if you want only your eyes to be donated after your death, check the "Eyes" in "Only the following..." box.
  • If your driver’s license reflects the desire to donate your eyes, it is always better.
  • If you are going to make any will or advanced directives legal document, mention your desire in it.
  • Visit a local organ donation organization and discuss with them what necessary measures you should take to make sure your wishes are fulfilled.
  • If you are going to be a donor, your body will be examined post-mortem for whether your organs and tissues qualify for donation. Let it be known to your family, friends and relatives while you are living. Many families are not open to the idea of organ donation or post-mortem after death. Make sure your family will not be hurt in the process after your death.

Pledge to donate your eyes at least for a selfish reason – that you will continue to live and see the world through someone’s eyes even when your heart will beat no more! Relax and smile, for you now know that your charity and kindness will live on as the gift of sight to someone!

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