He is perhaps the youngest eye-donor. Both the eyes of a new born baby — who survived barely for five hours — were donated, thanks to the magnanimous gesture of a young couple in the city.

Rajagopal (31) of Tiruvanaikovil, a car driver by profession, and his wife Annapoorani (21), were a happy lot when they were blessed with a male infant at a private hospital in Kattur late Friday night. However their joy was short lived, when the baby developed respiratory problems in the small hours of Saturday. The best clinical efforts by doctors failed.

The grief-stricken couple exhibited an extraordinary spirit and decided to donate the infant’s eyes without losing time. They immediately got in touch with K. Selvaraj, a noted eye-donation motivator and expressed their decision to donate the eyes of the new born.

On receiving the information from Mr. Selvaraj, a medical team from Joseph Eye Hospital Eye Bank rushed to the clinic and successfully removed both the corneas.

“It was a challenging task for us, for, unlike the well-developed eyes, the process of removal of the corneas of the new born involves a comprehensive clinical approach. Every step was well-guarded before we actually started on. The primary challenge was to face the usual high rate of rejection while dealing with infants’ eyes as they lack adequate development and growth of the endophelial cell,” observed C.A. Nelson Jesudasan, Director, Joseph Eye Hospital.

“This is not the end of it. We may have to exercise equal caution while transplanting them to the beneficiaries and we are at it,” Dr. Jesudasan added.