A seven-year-old Taiwanese boy donated his corneas ‘to continue seeing the world’

A seven-year-old Taiwanese boy donated his retinas before he died of cancer in January this year so that the recipient’s “eyes can see more beautiful (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—A seven-year-old Taiwanese boy participated in the organ donation decision making process to donate his corneas before he died of cancer in January this year so that the recipient’s “eyes can see more beautiful things for him.”    

Yi Hsiang was diagnosed in 2016 with epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma (EMCa), a rare malignant tumor  that typically arises in a salivary gland, and malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT), primarily a kidney tumor that occurs mainly in children. He bravely underwent numerous chemotherapy sessions, but cancer recurrences still happened. Even though the highest possible doses of chemotherapy drugs had been administered, the child’s cancers could not be brought under control. Therefore, his prospects of recovery were not good.   

Yi Hsiang died on cancer in January this year. 

Yi Hsiang’s father, Mr. Chiang, didn’t want his child to undergo the many hardships of treatment and recurrence and was considering hospice care. He asked his child, “Do you want to continue treatment?” Yi Hsiang gave his dad a resolute and positive answer.

“I told him that dad had been leading you in the past, now it’s time for you to lead dad,” Chiang recalled saying.

During his visits to the hospital, Chiang had been seeing organ donation posters and began to discuss the topic with related personnel in the hospital and his son’s hospice care team to understand more about the process of organ donation.   

On a usual afternoon in the hospital, Chiang began to discuss with his son in a casual way about organ donation to help him understand the topic and inquire into his intention to donate his organs.

Yi Hsiang asked his father, “Will organ donation hurt?” Chiang told him that after a person died, he or she goes to Heaven to become a “little angel” in another home to “wait for other people to join,”  and they will feel no pain any more.   

Yi Hsiang told his father, “If I can’t use anymore, why don’t I give them to others?” So Chiang gave his son a organ donation agreement to sign.  

Yi Hsiang signed the agreement to donate his retinas.

Chiang said it is really hard to accept his own child to have died so young and it had been a struggle when deciding on the organ donation or the hospice care. Fortunately the family had been very supportive and thought it was a good thing to do, Chiang said.   

Yi Hsiang’s condition took a turn for the worse in December last year and died in January this year. Chiang said his son had a dream of going to Hokkaido, Japan to play with snow but couldn’t realize his dream as his condition developed so quickly. However, Chiang said after his son fell sick, they took him to many places on a tour around the island of Taiwan and created many good memories.  

Chiang said Yi Hsiang donated his corneas and that even though his son is no longer with him, the eyes he saves will “continue to help him see more beautiful things.”