Jana Asenbrennerova (San Francisco State University)
Award of Excellence
International Picture Story
Sabitri Lamichhane had a severe eye infection, which worsened after she tried to heal it herself. Being at a high risk of loosing her eye, she was chosen by the Eye Bank among dozens of potential recipients from a waiting list at the Tilganga Eye Bank and underwent replacement of her cornea.
Sabitri Lamichhane sits in a waiting room at the Tilganga Eye Hospital, waiting for local eye anesthesiologist, followed up by eye surgery during which her own cornea is replaced with the donated one.
Sankha Narayan Twyana, the Eye Bank manager, performs a cornea extraction at the Pashupatinath cremation site in Kathmandu, where dead bodies are brought to be cremated along the sacred Bagmati river. This corpse is of a 7-year old girl who committed suicide the previous day. Her father decided to donate her eyes in the hope "to at least keep her sight alive." Family and friends gather around Twyana as he completes the procedure.
Sankha Narayan Twyana, the Eye Bank manager, places the extracted cornea into a preserving liquid. He will then rush back to the hospital to examine both corneas and to find a recipient who will come for the surgery the following day. Family and friends gather around Twyana as he completes the procedure. They start the cremation ceremonies shortly after his departure.
A photograph of Sabitri Lamichhane's eye during a cornea replacement surgery at the Tilganga Eye Hospital.
The following morning after the surgery, a nurse takes of the protective gauze from Sabitri Lamichhane's eye to check her vision and eye condition.
The day after surgery, Sabitri Lamichhane walks up the stairs at Tilganga Eye Hospital while she holds the hand of her husband, Om Lamichhane.
On the morning after her surgery, Sabitri Lamichhane returns for an eye check up. According to the surgeon, her eyes are going to take several months to heal completely. However, she is already able to see movement and recognize simple objects placed in front of her eyes.