Grief and pain over parents' death did not stop them from donating their eyes. Paying respect to their last wish, the bereaved sons gave the gift of life to the visually-impaired.
For 46-year-old Upendra Patri, an employee of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), it was darkest hour of life after his parents were killed in a road accident near Kaudikola junction on National Highway 5 (a) on 22 September.
Though traumatised by loss of his parents, Upendra resolved to keep up their last wish, as motionless bodies of his father and mother were lying in mortuary at SCB Medical College and hospital at Cuttack.
The elderly couple, from Sanamangala locality of Kendrapara town, Bhagaban Patri (66) and his spouse Debapriya (60) were killed in a road accident on Thursday afternoon when they were crushed under wheels of an unknown lorry.
"I was in a state of deep shock. My parents' death had left me thoroughly broken. However in the depressing moments, I remembered my parents' last wish for eye donation after death. It spurred me to consult the doctors. They appreciated my gesture and made arrangement for eye donation," recalled Upendra with moist eyes.
"My two younger brothers swiftly consented to it. I had to sign form pledging eye donation as part of legal formalities. We had to wait for an extra half-an-hour to take the bodies back home for last rites," he said.
My parents' death is irreversible. However, eye donation has provided a degree of consolation and peace to my family. I feel my parents would remain alive as they are going to eradicate darkness of at least two visually-impaired persons, he observed.
It's heartening to note that children kept their parents' last wish by donating their eyes. The noble work would give a new life to some who are dispossessed of vision, said ophthalmologist Debendra Sutar.
It is a period of mourning and grief for relatives following the death of kin. Many are found disinclined towards removal of cornea in these hours of distress. It's also a sentimental issue. However, in recent years, people are realising the nobleness of eye donation, an eye-donation campaigner, Nrusingh Nath said.
Also on HuffPost India.