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103-years-old 'Abbe' passes away, family donates her eye as per wish 

Abbe was healthy till her age of 90 and would do all her work as a farmer, recalled her family members. She had great knowledge about herbs that are grown in the Western Ghats. 

Published: 22nd October 2021 11:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2021 11:48 PM   |  A+A-

Devamma Hegde, 103, who passed away in Joida on Thursday night

Devamma Hegde, 103, who passed away in Joida on Thursday night (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: Devamma Hegde, a resident of Chapkhand village in Joida taluk may have become the oldest eye donor in the region. She passed away on the night of October 21 and the family donated her eyes as per her wish. Deveamma, who was fondly called as 'Abbe' by her younger generations, had pledged her eyes for donation when she had turned 100. 

Abbe was healthy till her age of 90 and would do all her work as a farmer, recalled her family members. She had great knowledge about herbs that are grown in the Western Ghats. 

Narasimha Chapkhand, grandson of Devamma said that as per Abbe's wish her eyes were donated. "She encouraged several others to do the same. We had organised a function when she had turned 100 and about 15 family members pledged for eye donation. The family remembers her service for the many generations to come with her knowledge in traditional herbs," he said. 

"Till the age of 85 she used to go to forests to collect firewood. Her eyesight was fine even till her death and she could hear clearly. She was widowed at the young age of 12 years and since then she has led a healthy lifestyle. Her diet is the main reason for her long life," said another family member. 

Dr Shrinivas M Joshi, Director of M M Joshi Eye Institute in Hubballi said that it's a remarkable fete by Devamma Hegde and her family members. "Living for a hundred years itself has become rare these days. The eye donation at his age is definitely a record in itself. But there are a few aspects that need to be covered for the eyes of elderly people that are given for transplantation. We check whether the eyes that are donated have enough endothelial cell count. The tests will be done using a specular microscopy machine," Dr Shrinivas explained. 

He also said that the eye donation drive is improving after the pandemic has come down in many parts of the country. "During the pandemic, we were instructed by the central agencies not to take eyes of donors after their death. Unless the deaths have occurred in hospitals for non-Covid reasons and the same is certified by the doctor. But now the restrictions are being lifted and in a phased manner the donation drive will be taken up," he said. 



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