Parami Dhakhwa & 100-year old Nepali patient
I still remember when I met that hundred year old man in Dhankuta Eye Camp. This was in November 2006. He had undergone a surgery in his right eye. As part of my routine work in any eye camp, I was interviewing the patients that had undergone eye surgeries. I came up to this man and asked one of my regular questions inquiring how old he was. He said he was 100. Surprised, I asked him and again he said that he was 100 years old. I was very surprised and at the same time very happy to see a 100 years old person. I had never met anyone that old in all my life.
I had so many questions for him. I wanted to talk to him, wanted to know more about him. The memory is so fresh that it feels like it was yesterday when he said that he was very happy and lucky that he got this opportunity to restore sight. When I asked what change would be there in his life after he gets back his sight, he said the foremost thing was that he would be able to see what he was eating and the second thing was that he would be able move around by himself and go to the toilet by himself.
For my whole life I took the gift of sight for granted. Never realized how blessed I am to have sight. I can see what I am eating and freely move around. He made me realize that I should be thankful to God as I am blessed with the ability to see.
After six years of this incident, one day while I was collecting reports of eye camps from our colleague in Butwal Eye Hospital, Mr. Sanjeeb said that eye camp in Dhankuta and Chainpur went on well. They had done good number of cataract surgeries in both the places. He said that even a 106 years old person came for eye check up. I asked him where did they find a 106 years old person and he said that it was in Dhankuta and he said that he also has pictures of that old man. I suddenly remembered the 100 years old person that I met in Dhankuta and it was six years back. I immediately told him to send me the pictures. I got very impatient; I wanted to see if that was the same person.
Mr. Sanjeeb sent me the pictures and when I opened it, to my pleasant surprise it was the same person. He was little bit older than when I had last seen him and stooped a little bit more than before. I felt so good and happy. I called Mr. Sanjeeb to know if he remembered what that person came for. Mr. Sanjeeb who is an Ophthalmic Officer and also in charge of outreach activities said that he was there for routine eye check up and he was pheudophakic (meaning he had already undergone cataract surgery in the past). That whole day I felt so very good and I was all smiles.
Now 106-years old!
To think back this type of incident keeps me motivated. I feel good that I am working for Seva and helping to prevent needless blindness in Nepal. Thank you, Seva!