Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar's eyes were donated to four people on the same day by doctors at the Narayana Nethralaya in Bengaluru. The doctors, who collected actor Puneeth Rajkumar's corneas, said they sliced the corneas and transplanted them in four corneal blind patients. Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru on November 1, Dr Bhujang Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director of Narayana Nethralaya, revealed that each eye of the late actor was used to treat two patients. "What was unique is that we used each eye to treat two patients by separating the superior and deeper layers of the cornea,â€ť Dr Bhujang Shetty said, as per The Hindu.
He added that the superior layer was transplanted to patients who had a superficial corneal disease and the deeper layer was transplanted to patients with endothelial or deep corneal layer disease. According to him, this procedure has not been done before in Karnataka, The Indian Express reported.
The transplant was done free of cost in honour of the Rajkumar family on Saturday, a day after Puneeth Rajkumar's death, Dr Bhujang Shetty said. Puneeth Rajkumar followed in the footsteps of his father Dr Rajkumar and mother Parvathamma Rajkumar in donating their eyes after their deaths. Four youngsters from Karnataka benefited from the procedure done at Narayana Nethralaya.
On Friday, when Puneeth Rajkumar was declared dead, his elder brother Raghavendra called the Dr Rajkumar Eye Bank, which is run by Narayana Nethralaya, to collect the actorâ€™s eyes. Puneeth Rajkumar passed away after suffering a fatal heart attack on Friday, October 29.
His death sent shockwaves across Karnataka and led to an outpouring of grief among members of the Kannada film fraternity and even among prominent sportspersons and politicians. His remains were kept at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. More than 10 lakh fans from all over Karnataka paid their respects to him. The funeral was held on Sunday morning and Puneeth was laid to rest next to his parents at the Kanteerava Studio.