With organ donation, a daughter immortalises her father

New Delhi It was a function to remember Tej Ram, who died of brain haemorrhage three months ago, but daughter Vineeta Chopra was all smiles.

More than any grief of his death, Vineeta was proud she had donated her octogenarian father's liver and kidneys and given three people a fresh shot at life.

Vineeta says donating Tej Ram's organs was the "easiest decision". "We felt he could live on through other people. It was just good, good and good. There was no downside to the decision at all," she says.

Among those present at the function was Mamata Jain, whose 13-year-old son Aman suffered brain death from acute asthma several years ago. After consulting her family, Mamata decided to donate her child's organs, and never regretted it.

"After that decision, I feel I have become strong enough to face anything in the world. Even today when I think of Aman, I feel he's somewhere around us," she told NDTV.

Vineeta and Madhu are bravehearts, but their stories of organ donation are rare in a country of 1.2 billion people.

Dr Samiran Nundy of Sir Gangaram Hospital says organ donation cases are few "simply because of lack of awareness ".

In India, where the Organ Transplant Act was passed in 1994, less than one cadaver per million is donated. Spain, in comparison, has the highest -- 35 cadavers per million.

India needs more than two lakh kidney transplants every year, but only 3,000 are taking place. Dr Nundy says the problem also lies with the medical fraternity that does not treat 'brain death' as death of the person.

"Sixty per cent of road accident cases in the country result in brain death. Even if 20 per cent of them donate organs, India's organ needs can be met," he says.

Arjun Das, 74, who got a fresh lease of life with a donated liver, will agree.
Story First Published: December 06, 2012 16:18 IST

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