Thiruvananthapuram: 'Is my daughter gone?' this question from a father in Kerala left the doctor in tears. But the next question was completely unexpected.
"Can I donate my daughter's organs for another child who is fighting for their life?" asked Ajit SR, grieving but resolute.
Ajit's three-year-old daughter Anjana was declared brain-dead just the day after doctors diagnosed her tumour. One moment she was active and playing, the next, she was vomiting. By the time her brain tumour was diagnosed, it was too late.
Within hours of Ajit's conversation with the doctor, Anjana's kidneys and liver had been transplanted to a five-year-old boy admitted in the KIMS hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. The child, who had liver and kidney failure, is still in the ICU.
Anjana's mother, a homemaker, hasn't been able to speak much after her daughter's death.
"My daughter was extremely active, very jolly and kept us on our toes," Ajit says.
The couple didn't get time to prepare for their daughter's death. Ajit had never imagined that a promise he made long ago would come back to him in this manner.
"My wife's nephew struggled for months for a donor to help him live, they just couldn't find a kidney donor for long. We saw the family struggle. It was then that I told my wife, if one of us dies, the other should readily agree to allow the organs to be donated," Ajit tells NDTV.
"I had no idea that time that our daughter would be our test."
Dr Noble Gracious, a top officer with the Kerala Network For Organ Sharing, says, "These days relatives come forward to donate organs of the person who has died."
Nationally, Kerala has a record of second highest donors after Tamil Nadu. In the last three years Kerala has had 136 donors. This year, till July, Kerala has had 95 major organ donations.
Anjana's older brother Arjun, six, wants her photograph framed in their car. He may not know his sister just became Kerala's youngest donor. His parents hope someday he will.