Parents' decision to donate their 13-year-old deceased girl's organs saves four lives

"We want to aware people on organ donation to realise that death is not the end of things, as people can live on through others, through organ donation," her father said
Organ donation | (Pic: Internet)
Organ donation | (Pic: Internet)

A 13-year-old girl who passed away has become a beacon of hope with her parents' decision to go for organ donation, saving the lives of four patients battling for survival after suffering from end-stage organ failure.

The father, who wants to keep his identity anonymous, said, "It's something no family should have to go through. We said 'yes' to organ donation because we knew this could help someone else and they wouldn't need to go through the heartache that we were going through. We knew it was the right thing to do."

"We just want people to know about the cause and not who did it, as we have done it so that our daughter re- lives through others. We have done it for our own peace and solace. We hope our daughter's story will inspire the families who find themselves in the same position," he added.

"We want to aware people on organ donation to realise that death is not the end of things, as people can live on through others, through organ donation," he said.

One of the four lives saved belongs to Mumbai, while three were treated at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). The retrieved corneas on transplantation will restore the sight of two corneal blind patients in  Chandigarh.

Expressing indebtedness to the donor family, PGIMER Director Jagat Ram said, "It is an extremely hard decision, but the donor families are a ray of hope, a silver lining in the dark lives of organ failure patients. It is through their generous gifts that hundreds of people each year are given a second chance at life."

The Director said, "At the same time, we cannot underestimate the commitment of the entire team of PGIMER involved in the process, right from the brain death certification committee, transplant coordinators, testing labs, treating doctors and especially the intensivists, who maintain the potential donor in the best condition for optimum usage of organs, and the transplant surgeons who save precious lives with their skill and synergy."

It was the fateful day of July 8 when the donor girl from Chandigarh became unconscious due to cerebral oedema and was rushed to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16. However, due to a worsening prognosis, she was shifted to the PGIMER in an extremely critical condition the next day. But all efforts of the family and doctors could not deter the dark tragedy as the little girl's 10-day struggle between life and death came to a halt as she could not be revived and was subsequently declared brain dead on July 18.

When it became clear that the girl would not come out of her precarious condition, the transplant coordinators at the PGIMER approached the grief-stricken father to request if he could consider organ donation. The resolute father showcased immense grit and consented to organ donation.

PGIMER Additional Medical Superintendent and acting Nodal Officer of ROTTO (North), Ashok Kumar, said, "As the donor family wanted their daughter to relive in others, it became our moral duty to respect their wish. Following the family's consent, we secured her heart, liver, kidneys and corneas.

"Once the donor organs became available, everyone swiftly got into action leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the donor's legacy continues," he said. "As the cross-matching indicated no matching recipient for heart in PGIMER, we immediately got in touch with other transplant hospitals to explore the options for matching the recipients and finally, the heart was allocated to Sir HN Reliance Hospital, Mumbai, with the intervention of NOTTO," he added.

Elaborating about the Green Corridors created for the case, Kumar said, "To ensure safe and speedy transportation of the harvested organs, a Green Corridor was created in conjunction with the retrieval timings from the PGIMER to the Technical Airport in Chandigarh at around 6:35 am for the transportation of the retrieved heart for the onward flight to Mumbai."

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