Another Story of Exemplary Courage, of Resolute Spirit : Sunita Sharma from Chandigarh turns Saviour in her Death by giving ‘Gift of Life’ to 2 terminally ill renal failure patients at PGIMER
One again, it was an unthinkable story of exemplary courage, of resolute spirit, as the aggrieved but brave-heart sons immortalised their mother Sunita Sharma in two others through the noble act of organ donation here at PGIMER.
With their magnanimous decision, the donor family gave ‘gift of life’ to a two terminally ill renal failure female patients, one 13 year old from Phagwara, Punjab and another 43 year old from Mandi, thereby impacting their lives tangibly and sustaining the hope of many more ‘in-waiting’ recipients.
Paying his obeisance to the donor family, Prof. Vivek Lal, Director PGIMER, expressed his sentiments, “The exemplary and altruistic decision by the family of donor Sunita Sharma in the face of their ‘tragic and unbearable loss’ has proved a boon for two patients. Organ donation has been one of the greatest advances of medical science that has resulted in many people getting a renewed lease of life. It is fast developing into a major treatment protocol.”
On the fateful day of 14th May, 48 year old Sunita Sharma from village Khuda Ali Sher, Chandigarh, was riding as a pillion passenger on the two wheeler when she was mercilessly hit by a speeding vehicle from behind causing her fatal head injuries. After the mishap, Sunita was immediately rushed to a private hospital in Rajpura and then was shifted here to PGIMER on the same day in a precarious condition.
As the ill luck would have it, all the efforts to save Sunita proved ineffective with her condition worsening and she was put on life support. However, nothing could reverse her critical condition and after four days’ of struggle between life and death, Sunita was declared brain-dead on 18th May, after following the protocols of THOA.
When it became clear that Sunita would not survive her devastating injuries, the transplant coordinators at PGIMER approached Mr Sahil Sharma, the grieving Son of Sunita, to request if he could consider organ donation. The brave-heart son showcased immense grit and consented for organ donation of his beloved mother.
Still in shock due to the quirky turn of fate, Mr. Sahil Sharma said, “My mother was always so full of life. She was a homemaker. We can never forget her smile, her laughter, her positive energy. She was our strength pillar and she used to make life even the dullest of moments. Even in her passing also, she has spread happiness by infusing life in others through organ donation.”
“It was quite a tough call to say ‘yes’ to organ donation. But then we thought if someone had come to us at that moment and said there was an organ that could save our mother, we would have jumped at the chance. So we thought of saving someone else the pain and agony of losing their parent and went ahead with the decision, added Mr. Sahil Sharma.
After the family consented for organ donation, all the concerned departments swiftly got into action.… The intensive care unit maintained the donor, the labs did the cross-matching, Nephrology department worked up the matching recipients, the transplant teams retrieved the kidneys from the donor Sunita and transplanted to two terminally ill renal failure patients.
Prof. H.S.Kohli, Head, Deptt. of Nephrology, PGIMER stated as shared about the recipients, “Pre transplant work up team of department of Nephrology swung into action and as per host of criteria, contacted prospective recipients to narrow down on these two who got second lease of life. They did not have genuine living donors and they were fighting for life, on dialysis for long. Their chances of survival without transplant were bleak.”
Detailing about the procedure Prof. Ashish Sharma, Head, Deptt. of Renal Transplant Surgery, said, “The team has been in operation theatre round the clock in view of four transplants done back to back in two days including one liver and kidney combined and one pancreas and kidney combined surgeries. But it is extremely gratifying that all the surgeries have been successful and all the patients are recovering well.”
Sharing about how deceased organ donation programme is being taken forward in PGIMER, Prof. Vipin Koushal, Nodal Officer, ROTTO PGIMER shared his concerns, as he said, “In view of the rapidly increasing burden of life style diseases and organ failure incidence over the years, we really need to improve the rate of organ donation. Synergised efforts and engagement of the civil society, religious leaders and other stakeholders are required for creating more public awareness about the cause, which will help saving precious lives.”