Chennai: Nine-year-old Mahalakshmi from Andhra Pradesh required a heart transplant last year. Her parents chose neighbouring Tamil Nadu to enhance her chances of getting a heart from a brain dead donor. It paid off. Now, the class eight girl is back to school with a new heart. She says: "I want to become a doctor, a cardiologist and save lives."
There are various others who have benefited from organ donation specially heart transplants in Chennai. Officials say 145 heart transplants have taken place in the city in the past five years.
Ganesh, a businessman from Karnataka, who recently got a heart transplant from Chennai says," I lost eleven kilos, but now i'm normal. I want to expand my business and look after my parents as well as take care of myself."
After green corridor, an invention by the Chennai police, to take the harvested heart quickly to the donor; experts are working on newer techniques of speedier transportation in the city. They are also working on ways of connecting the rural and urban areas.
"One could use helicopters, we can even look innovatively at solutions like drones than putting citizens to hardship every time," says Dr C K Balakrishnan, Director Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Centre for Heart Failure and Transplant.
Organ donation became a people's movement in Tamil Nadu after a doctor couple outside Chennai donated organs of their brain dead son Hithendran seven years ago.