Student's corneas are perfect

Student's corneas are perfect
Tan Mie Jie

GEORGE TOWN - Form Two student Tan Mie Jie's death was not in vain.

Her harvested corneas are in "perfect condition" and there is a likelihood that they will be used to restore a blind child's vision.

"We thank her parents. Mie Jie's corneas will be transplanted within two weeks and there is a good chance of a child of her age receiving it.

"We will tell her parents when this is done and share with them general details of the recipient, such as age, location and medical condition," National Transplant Resour­ces Centre chief clinical manager Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor said.

A spokesman for Penang Hospital said Mie Jie's corneas were extracted at 5.26pm on Wednesday after a two-hour procedure. They were then sent to the Corneal Bank at Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Corneal transplants can restore sight for patients blinded by disease, injury or congenital defects.

Mie Jie's parents had the corneas donated after the 14-year-old girl died, falling 11 floors from her apartment on Wednesday at 6am.

She left a note, stating remorse after friends accused her of cheating in her Mathematics exam. She begged her parents' forgiveness, saying she could not bear the shame.

Her funeral was held at 10am yesterday at the apartment.

More than 100 students and teachers from Mie Jie's school, Heng Ee High School, joined the cortege.

Her father was inconsolable, wailing bitterly when undertakers closed the snow-white casket decorated with a single cross.

Pallbearers carried the casket to the end of the road and onto a hearse that headed for the Batu Gantong Cemetery for a Christian burial.

Earlier, newsmen at the funeral were given a tongue-lashing by Mie Jie's older sister and aunt.

Vernacular papers had published a photograph of Mie Jie's final note, and the relatives told pressmen off for not respecting the student.

The sister said it was unfair of the papers to sensationalise news and forbade newsmen from asking further questions

Heng Ee principal Low Lim Wah said his teachers would be watchful for students who could be under stress or in need of help, adding that the school had two counselling teachers.

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