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Overcoming trauma to become donor

Wednesday, 22 February 2017
M Balasubramani

Ravi

Chennai: It is not easy to take a decision at any point in life but the most difficult must be to decide to donate the organs of a dear one who is still breathing.

This happens in the case of a brain dead person and it is an emotionally poignant time for the family to decide to give away parts of his/ her body even as they grapple with the idea of losing the family member. A wide range of opinions will be put forth by the relatives and friends and the counsellors may also convince the relatives to donate the organs, but the decision has to be made by the family.

In a recent case, this tough decision was taken by the wife and two daughters of L Ravi from Alandur who came forward to donate his organs after he became brain dead but was till breathing.

Ravi, a 55-year-old professional photographer, was admitted to a private hospital in Vadapalani after he suffered a stroke. The doctors diagnosed it as haemorrhage and said there were multiple ruptures in the brain, leading to severe blood loss.

Despite being treated for close to 10 days, there was no improvement and Ravi was declared brain dead. Following this, the shocked family decided to donate his organs. His liver, kidney and eyes were harvested and donated to different patients.

Shobana, one of the daughters of Ravi, said by donating the organs at least some part of her father will be alive and "another family can be saved from the trauma that we are suffering from".

"Our loss cannot be expressed in words. However, I feel that we have done the right thing by donating the organs of my father which will be helpful in saving another life. Everyone should come forward to pledge their organs,' she added. Tamilnadu has been a forerunner in many fields but it has shown empathy in cadaver organ donation.

It has been recognised as the leading State for organ transplantation. The Transplant Authority of Tamilnadu (TRANSTAN) has stated that in the last 8 years, 4,938 organs have been transplanted in the State. 

IN NUMBERS

According to a performance report from October 2008 to 31 October 2016 of TRANSTAN, there have been 887 donors in Tamilnadu. In these eight years, 257 hearts, 130 lungs, 836 livers, 1,615 kidneys, 11 pancreas, two small bowels, 300 heart valves, 1,339 corneas, 46 skin grafts and two blood vessels have been transplanted in the State.

EXPERIENCE SPEAKS

Though drowning in grief, Radha, wife of Ravi, appealed that people give top priority to health.

"After my husband was admitted to the hospital, doctors told us that this could have been prevented if his blood pressure had been under control. I was not aware of this. His carelessness and my lack of awareness has led to the loss of someone with whom I spent the best part of my life. Despite the hectic work schedule, people should make sure they spend time to concentrate on their health and do regular check-ups," she said.

Radha, who felt the pinch during the hospital treatment as she did not have insurance cover, said with so many options available, people should also make sure that they take medical insurance.

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