Sep 4, 2019
From Kobe to Joaquin: The Hero’s Legacy Lives On
The story of Kobe Andrei Labro Tejero or Kobe for his friends, has touched many people especially in the community where he shared his life.
Amidst the pain and grief of his passing, Kobe’s family decided to donate his eyes. This noble act of selflessness is not in vain for the young hero’s legacy lives on.
Joaquin is one of Kobe’s recipients. He is suffering from keratoconus, a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape.
This causes a distorted vision. A corneal transplantation is needed to address this and Joaquin must undergo through it.
“I was informed that I have to wait for 6 months before securing a cornea. But, everything is a miracle because after 3 weeks, may donor na agad” said Joaquin.
At first, he had little idea that his donor was Kobe.
“I saw the post of Eye Bank featuring Kobe. I shared it because I was inspired. I had no idea that he’s my donor” added Joaquin.
“I cannot fully rejoice when I heard the news. I know that someone’s family is grieving. At first I thought that the grieving of one family can serve as hope to another. Should I be grateful for that? I don’t know what to feel. But deep in my heart, I can feel that God is moving in the situation. And indeed he is moving–for the grief of Kobe’s family has become our inspiration and source of strength. Everything has a purpose talaga. Words are not enough how thankful we are” expressed Joaquin’s mother.
The Eye Bank team then discussed that the donor family has given their consent for them to know Kobe’s identity.
“I’m blessed. Blessed kasi alam ko work lahat ito ni God. Ang masasabi ko kay Kobe and his family, thank you for sharing a part of your life to save a part of me” told Joaquin.
“Siguro, kung kailangan niyong mag decide [na maging donor], please do so. A simple act is miracle for others” ended him.
After the surgery, Joaquin is now in the process of healing. He went back to Cebu and is more than excited to go back to his classes.
“We commit to help Eye Bank in the advocacy so that others may also know it and join in sharing the gift of sight. Thank you Kobe, Eye Bank, and all the people behind it” told Joaquin’s mom as they arrived in Cebu.
This is the story of Kobe, the young hero from Samar, first organ donor of Eastern Visayas.
He lived a wonderful and fulfilling life so that Joaquin, may also live the same. Let us honor him by doing what he has done.