Superstar Puneeth Rajkumar’s eyes give new lease of life to four
Bengaluru: Four corneal blind patients received eyesight, thanks to Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar. The actor’s eyes were donated on Friday afternoon soon after his demise.
Dr Bhujang Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Nethralaya hospital on Monday said that all four patients are between 20 to 30 years of age and have been on the waiting list for over 6 months. “Due to the pandemic, the number of donations had reduced, and the waiting list was getting longer. So we made the best use of available donations and instead of two, we were able to do the successful transplant in four patients on October 30.” said Shetty.
Explaining the process, he said that usually two corneas from a donor are transplanted into two corneal blind patients. “But in the case of actor Puneeth Rajkumar, his corneas were sliced into four parts. The front portions went to two different patients and the rear ends went to two other patients,” he said.
“The outer or superficial part of the cornea was transplanted to two young patients with corneal dystrophy and keratoconus. Both these conditions affect the superficial layer of the cornea. The inner or deeper layer of the cornea was transplanted to two patients with corneal endothelial decompensation affecting the innermost layer of the cornea,” he elaborated.
The four patients — a woman and three men — are from Karnataka and are doing well after the surgery. “Finding suitable recipients for the procedures was a challenge. We sought help from B.L. Sujatha Rathod, director of the state-run Minto Ophthalmic Hospital,” he said.
The limbal rim (white part of the eye near the circumference of the cornea) that was not used for the transplants, has been sent to the laboratory to generate ‘Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells’ for potential use in patients with Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency, chemical injuries, acid burns, and other serious disorders, he added.
Meanwhile, leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah on Monday urged the union government to consider Puneeth Rajkumar for Padma Shri award. “I urge @PMOIndia to award Padma Shri posthumously to Puneeth Rajkumar. His acting & contribution to society deserves even more accolades,” he tweeted.