PGIMERonce again witnessed an act of “magnanimity beyond words’ as a young donor in his early twenties became a ray of hope for five in-waiting recipients with his family’s generous decision of organ donation amid their grim tragedy.
The lives that were impacted through transplantation as an outcome of this magnanimity of organ donation included one heart recipient in New Delhi, one liver and kidney combined recipient, one kidney recipient, and two corneal recipients here at PGIMER.
Prof. Vivek Lal, Director of PGIMER, expressing PGIMER’s indebtedness to the donor family, stated, “Amid the tragic demise of one’s family member, thinking beyond to save some strangers’ lives is unexpected and unimaginable.” It is the selfless sacrifice of the donor families on which the organ transplant programme hinges. No words are enough to convey our gratitude to them. “
The Director further shared, “At the same time, we cannot underestimate the commitment of the entire team of PGIMER involved in the process, right from neurosurgeons, brain death certification committee, transplant coordinators, testing labs, treating doctors, and especially intensivists, who maintain the potential donor in the best condition for optimum usage of organs and transplant surgeons who save precious lives with their skill and synergy.”
A brilliant life was cut short suddenly as a young and promising individual in his early twenties was mercilessly hit by a speeding two-wheeler from the opposite side while he was going on his motorcycle to work on June 4th. After the mishap, he was immediately rushed to a local civil hospital in Faridkot. Then, being referred to PGIMER, he was shifted here to PGIMER on June 6th in a precarious condition.
As ill-luck would have it, all the efforts to save the young patient proved ineffective, with his condition worsening and he was put on life support. However, nothing could reverse his irretrievable condition and, after ten days of a struggle between life and death, he was declared brain-dead on June 14th after following the protocols of THOA here at PGIMER.
Showcasing exemplary courage and compassion, the family of the individual did not let his tragic death go in vain and consented to organ donation when the transplant coordinators discussed the matter with them.
The grief-stricken but brave-heart mother of the young donor, who wanted to keep her identity anonymous due to her sentiments, 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 are 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 son lives through others. We have done it for our peace and solace. We want to motivate people on organ donation to realise that death is not the end of things; people can live on through others, through this,” recalled a relative of the donor while maintaining his calm despite the grave tragedy.
With the family’s consent, the heart, liver, kidneys, and corneas were retrieved from the donor. Once the donor organs became available, it was time to act fast to ensure that the donor’s legacy continues. As the cross-matching indicated no matching recipient for the heart here in PGIMER, options for matching recipients were explored with other transplant hospitals, and finally, the heart was allocated to a matching recipient admitted in R&R New Delhi with the intervention of NOTTO.
Prof. Vipin Koushal, Medical Superintendent at PGIMER, and Nodal Officer, ROTTO (North), while detailing the latest case, said, “Time is the crunch factor. A synergized and well-coordinated effort by PGIMER made sure that the sentiments of the family are honoured.” With NOTTO’s proactive intervention, the heart was airlifted as soon as it was retrieved. A green corridor was created from PGIMER to Technical Airport with the active cooperation and liasoning of PGI security, UT Administration and Police. Otherwise, it would have been almost impossible to carry out this task. “
Following this, the liver and kidneys retrieved from the donor, through transplantation of combined liver and kidney in one recipient and another kidney in the second recipient enabled a second lease of life to two patients battling for survival here in PGIMER. This was the second liver-kidney combined transplant in PGIMER, the first one conducted on 3rd February 2018.
The retrieved corneas of the donor will restore the sight of two corneal blind patients. This way, the donor family’s rare gesture of compassion impacted five lives in all.