IEP CHANDIGARH AUGUST 18, 2022
PGIMER witnessed exemplary ‘spirit of giving’ by three brave heart families from Punjab amid their own darkest tragedies, enabling second chance at life to seven patients battling for survival and restoring the sight of four corneal blind patients, thereby impacting the life of 11 patients in the last fortnight here in PGIMER.
Expressing his gratitude to the donor families for their generous acts, Prof. Vivek Lal, Director PGIMER stated, “All these donor families from Punjab are an epitome of compassion and benevolence. Their noble deed of organ donation is far more magnanimous than any eulogy. These are the people who make PGIMER an inspiration. We honour the resolute spirit of these families and determined efforts by the entire PGIMER team involved in the process to enable them to fulfil their wish by giving life to others.”
Despite being faced with the unimaginable loss, Sandeep Kumar, husband of donor Vandana Chopra turned his grim tragedy into a triumph for two terminally ill renal failure patients and two corneal blind patients with his generous gesture of Organ Donation.
The perfect life of the Chopra family suddenly crashed when Vandana Chopra, 45, a resident of Gandhi Colony, Rajpura, was admitted to Max Hospital, Mohali due to brain tumour for which she was operated upon. Post her surgery, the prognosis being poor, Vandana Chpra could not be revived.
On being informed about her precarious condition, the family, being socially committed, showcased exceptional initiative and expressed willingness to donate organs of their dear one to the attending doctors. Immediately, Max Hospital got in touch with PGIMER for further management. The potential donor was accordingly shifted to PGIMER on 13th August and was certified brain dead on 15th August following the protocols of THOA.
Following the family’s consent, kidneys were retrieved and were transplanted to two terminally ill patients suffering from renal ailment. The retrieved corneas, on transplantation, restored the sight of two corneal blind patients at PGIMER.
Sharing about his inspiration for this noble deed, Sandeep Kumar, a businessman from Rajpura, who immortalised his wife with his decision of organ donation. said, “My wife’s life was the inspiration. So when the doctors broke the news of my wife’s irretrievable condition, I thought that she lived her entire life caring for others only, it seemed right that it should be her final act as well.”
In the second case, the untimely and tragic death of Sita, 49 years old from village Ghanouli, district Roopnagar is beyond comprehension and extremely difficult to reconcile with. The deceased was grievously injured in a road side accident on 4th August and was rushed to the local civil hospital. However, seeing her condition worsening, Sita was brought to PGIMER on 4th August and was put on life support. But as luck would have it, the fervent prayers of the family and friends and best of medical attention proved futile as Sita’s week-long struggle with life and death came to an end and she was declared brain dead on 12th August.
The third tragedy was also equally gruesome when on the fateful day of 23rd July, Jarnail Din, 60 from village Bhogiwal, Malerkotla was hit by a speeding vehicle from behind and received grievous head injuries. Reacting to his critical condition, the family immediately rushed him to civil hospital, Malerkotla and then to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala from where he was referred to PGIMER and was admitted here in precarious condition on 24th August. However, Jarnail Din could not be saved and was finally declared brain dead after following the protocols of THOA on 2nd August.
Showcasing an exemplary courage and magnanimity, the families of both Sita and Jarnail Din did not let these tragic deaths go in vain and consented for organ donation when the transplant coordinators raised the matter with them.
Following their consent, the process of the retrieval of the organs was initiated. Evaluating the organs, Sita’s kidneys and corneas were retrieved and Jarnail Din’s kidneys and liver were harvested.
The kidneys retrieved from both the deceased, through transplantation enabled second lease of life to four patients battling for survival here in PGIMER. The retrieved liver from deceased Jarnail Din was transplanted to a wait-listed matching recipient. The corneas of deceased Sita were used for two patients in PGIMER, thereby giving them sight and impacting their lives.
Dharam Singh, the bereaved husband of donor Sita, while trying to control his emotions, said, “We are devastated by the death of my wife. Hope my decision for organ donation helps some children turn lucky and save their parents. This will be our biggest tribute to her.”
The same sentiment was echoed by courageous wife Jamila and son Imran Khan of donor Jarnail Din as they said ,“ No words can convey the remorse. With organ donation, at least we will be able to save someone else the pain and trauma of losing their dear ones. Our dear Jarnail Din always used to be the first one to help others and even in his death, he has done the same by saving three lives battling for survival.”
Prof. Vipin Koushal, Nodal Officer, ROTTO PGIMER detailing this cadaver donation experience stated, “Any initiative, however difficult, becomes successful when the community owns it and takes it forward. With the donor families like those of Vandana Chopra, Sita and Jarnail Dins setting role models for others to follow, it seems we have come a long way through awareness generation. The donors’ story is a story of resurrection, of good coming full circle.”