The country that supplies eyes

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bandages cover Paramon Malingam’s right eye. A tear appears in the left one. It is the relief of a very lucky man. “I thought I was going to live the rest of my life with one eye,” he says.

Thirteen years ago, Malingam, a shop owner from central Sri Lanka, cut his eye with steel wire. Last year, he injured the same eye with a piece of wood. After both accidents, a new cornea from a donor saved his sight. …

“After the surgery, I was reborn to the world,” he says.

A few doors down from his ward, Viswani Pasadi, a student, is preparing for a different kind of rebirth, by filling out a form at the National Eye Bank pledging her eyes when she dies.

Like most Sinhalese – who make up 75% of Sri Lanka’s population – Pasadi is Buddhist. She believes in a cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and sees this donation as a sound investment in her future.

“If I donate my eyes in this life,” she says, “I’ll have better vision in my next life.”

Source: BBC (link opens in a new window)

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