Chandigarh : 10 January(Prashant Sharma): It is only ten days into 2019 and three braveheart families have already showcased incredible courage by turning their gravest grief into ‘Gift of Life’ for four terminally ill patients and ‘Gift of Sight’ for two more corneal blind patients, thereby impacting six lives in all with their compassionate decision of saying ‘yes’ to Organ Donation here at PGIMER.
Hailing the indomitable spirit of the donor families, Prof. Jagat Ram, Director, PGIMER, stated, “Through their benevolent gesture, these donor families have not only conveyed a strong message in humanity, but also reiterated their faith in PGIMER as an institution. By translating their ‘noble wish’ into actually impacting six precious lives through transplantation, PGIMER has tried to live upto that trust reposed. This way, every organ transplantation is a very humbling experience.” added Prof. Jagat Ram.
The untimely and tragic death of Manoj Kumar, 47 years, from village Majri, district Kharar, Punjab is beyond comprehension and extremely difficult to reconcile with. The deceased was grievously injured while going on a cycle by a rashly driven car on 7th January. After the first aid at the nearby PHC, the family rushed him to PGIMER on the same day. But the destiny had willed otherwise and the best of the efforts proved futile as, PGIMER’s internal committee, after meeting twice, found the parameters matching brain death and eventually, Manoj Kumar was declared brain dead on 9th January.
In the meantime, transplant coordinators at PGIMER apprised the deceased’s relatives of prospects of utilizing his organs through donation for transplants to terminally ill organ failure patients. With the deceased’s wife Malkit Kaur consenting to the proposal,the process of the retrieval of organs was initiated.
In view of no matching recipient for liver being here in PGIMER, immediately National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) in Delhi was approached and accordingly with NOTTO’s intervention, retrieved liver of the deceased Manoj Kumar was allocated for a matching recipient in Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in New Delhi and was sent from PGIMER at 3.30 am today through a green corridor for its destination in New Delhi.
Trying to come to terms with reality, the grieving wife Malkit Kaur said “It was very painful to let him go. But we took this tough decision because someone would get a chance to live because of my husband. In his life, he had cared for so many people. This last gift he made is an everlasting testament to his character.” Malkit Kaur’s consent for Organ Donation saved life of a terminally ill patient suffering from liver failure at ILBS, New Delhi .
The world of another family from a nearby village in Punjab crashed when they got the tragic news of their teen son being grievously injured in head on collision with a speeding car, while riding on a two wheeler on 3rd January. The family immediately rushed him to Civil Hospital in Kharar from where he was referred to PGIMER and was admitted here on 3rd January itself.
However, God’s will can’t be questioned and nothing could retrieve the young boy from his critical condition and he finally succumbed to his injuries. Going by the prognosis, the doctors attending to him at PGIMER said that they met twice to decide about the case as per the protocols of THOA and at night on 6th January, he was declared brain dead.
“Everything came crashing down,” recalled the grief stricken mother. “Then the transplant coordinators at PGIMER talked to us about organ donation. The idea of having a chance to save someone else’s life made sense to us—even though we didn’t have the heart to take him off life support.”
After the family’s incredible courage for consent for donation of the organs, the doctors harvested the kidneys of the young donor, which on transplantation, gave second lease of life to two patients suffering from end stage renal failures, having slim chances of survival. The transplanted corneas restored the sight of two corneal blind patients. This way, despite their extreme tragedy, the brave heart family helped impacting four lives.
Setting the precedent for others in 2019 was another brave heart family of donor Uttam Chand from Kalka when theydid not let his tragic death go in vain and consented for organ donation when the transplant coordinators raised the matter with them.
Uttam Chand, 70 years, a resident of Kalka had an accidental fall at his residence which led to fatal head injury on 2nd January. After initial treatment at an adjoining Civil Hospital, the family rushed him to PGIMER on 3rd January. However, after being declared brain dead on 4th January, the family took a strong call of organ donation braving their own tragedy. Following the family’s decision, kidneys were retrieved from the donor Uttam Chand. Being marginal, the harvested kidneys , were transplanted to one patient suffering from end stage kidney disease, thereby ending his daily struggle for survival
Expressing her sentiments after consenting for Organ Donation, the grieving but courageous wife Mato Devi said, “My husband used to be there for everyone in their hour of need and even in his death, he has done the same. We felt as if he himself is saying us to ‘go ahead ‘ with the decision and that very feeling made us consent for his organ donation.”
Sharing his thoughts, Prof. A.K.Gupta, Medical Superintendent cum Head, Deptt. of Hospital Administration, PGIMER stated, “We would not have been able to reach this far without the consent of the donors families’, who have forever transformed the lives of the recipients and their families. Any words fall short to express our gratitude to their courageous gesture.”
Prof. (Dr.) Vipin Koushal, Nodal Officer, ROTTO PGIMER, apprising the initiatives at PGIMER, stated, “There is a wide gap between the increasing demand of organs for patient at end stage and the paucity of the organs. Adding to the complexity is the lack of awareness and prevalent myths and misconceptions. The incessant efforts at imparting awareness backed by the tireless efforts of PGIMER team involved in transplantation has given a huge fillip to the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Programme in the region.”