A Helping Hand for Jeyaraj

Jeyaraj is a farmer, aged 65 years, hails from a southern district of Tamil Nadu. His wife Rajamma was a humble and sincere housewife. They had five sons and a daughter. All of them were married and settled happily. Jeyaraj shared his property among his sons, and his life went on well till his wife was alive.

His wife became ill, and Jeyaraj had to prepare himself to live without her. Now he has to live with his sons and their families. One major step he made was to skip his lunch. His wife expired when Jeyaraj was 56. He went to live with his sons, and shared Rs.12000 among them, so that they might take care of him. All but one treated him badly. Unable to bear them, he went to his youngest sons farm and built a small hut to lived in.

Jeyaraj was losing his vision gradually and could not take care of himself properly. Life became very tough for him to manage. He had problems even in personal care like bathing, eating, etc. He skipped his regular diet because he could not identify what was served to him. His daughter-in-laws were complaining that he was problematic and difficult to manage. His mobility was restricted. He was unable to attend any celebrations in the family though he wanted to attend. No one was there to look after him as everyone was busy with daily routine. He was very depressed, and He became physically and mentally very weak. Now, at the age of 65 years he looks more than 70 years old. Jeyaraj became blind, and was totally dependent on others. He could not walk alone, and was also suffering from difficulties of old age. Life became meaningless. Jeyaraj was counting his days.

At this juncture, his daughter Manju and her husband Rangaswamy visited him. Jeyaraj was in a sad condition. They heard that a team from Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai was visiting their village for an eye camp two days later. Manju and Rangaswamy took him to the campsite. The Ophthalmologist after doing all investigations diagnosed a bilateral mature cataract. Jeyaraj was taken to the hospital with the team for surgery. While transporting him, he had to be physically lifted and put inside the vehicle.

Jeyarajs daughter Manju had accompanied him. He was one among 34 patients who had been identified for cataract surgery in the screening eye at Tirumangalam held on 10.07.1999. The patient counsellor at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai received him.

At Hospital
Before Surgery:

All patients were given proper accommodation Raju who was depressed had lost self-confidence, and preferred to lie down in a corner of the room. When approached by patient counsellor he did not show interest in counselling. He was not certain getting his vision back. All he said with a gloomy face was, I have come here because it would make my daughter happy. I might live for another one or two years. He didnt take any food that day, and didnt talk to any of his roommates.

All information about the surgery procedures was given to Jeyaraj and his daughter by the patient counsellor. Surgery was done in his right eye.

After Surgery:
On the first post-operative day, the bandage on his right eye was removed for examination. Now, he saw some light rays passing through his right eye. He could not believe it. The doctor came to him and asked, How do you feel now?

Raju saw the doctors face as if in a dream. He smiled at the doctor and said, I can see your face, my hand.., the picture on the wall!. He asked the patient counsellor, Am I right? Am I in this world? The patient counsellor replied, Grandpa you are right. You can see now.

On the second post-operative day when patient counsellor visited him, Jeyaraj was moving around with his walking stick and chatting with his roommates. He told the patient counselor, I have sent my daughter to home. I dont need her. I can walk alone!, he was jubilant. He went to the hospital staff and told them that he could see. They were also happy. The patient counsellor asked whether he would like to undergo surgery in his left eye, the next day. Jeyaraj said with folded hands I would be the happiest person in the world if I could see with the other eye also. Please do it.

Jeyarajs left eye was also operated after two days. With much confidence he moved around. His sons, daughter and grand children visited him. He was very happy to see through both eyes. All he said to his children was I can move around without much difficulty. Now I can see with both eyes. He turned to the nurses and patient counsellors and said, Thank you! May God Bless You!.

The patient counsellors and nurses helped him while he was being discharged, and helped him to the van. They walked back to their station with much satisfaction.