Ashok Kumar(52) owner of Kumar Rasoi, a food joint in Sector 37, Chandigarh, donated his kidneys and cornea after he was declared brain-dead at PGIMER in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
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“My father loved to give. He always felt it was his duty to help someone. He was the epitome of philanthropy who used to donate clothes, provide food to the needy on a daily basis and also made regular donations for the last rites of the poor. In addition, he had been organising blood donation camps on every December 15 since 1995”, said Ankush, son of the deceased.
It was on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday on December 2 that Kumar complained of dizziness and severe headache. When he fell down due to ischemic stroke, his family rushed him to a private hospital without losing any time. From there he was brought to the PGIMER on December 3.
However, Kumar was declared brain dead on December 5 evening. “Everything came crashing down,” said Ankush, adding, “Then the transplant coordinators at PGIMER spoke with us about organ donation. The idea of having a chance to save someone else’s life appealed to us—even though we didn’t want to take him off from life support.”
He further went on to say, “Then we asked ourselves what he would have wished, and consented to donate his organs. My father definitely would have wanted someone’s father, husband, wife, mother, daughter, or son to have more time to spend with their loved ones.”
After the family’s consent, the doctors harvested the kidneys and corneas for transplantation. “My uncle was selfless, he was a jovial person who was always intended to bring smiles. As a grandfather or a father or as a friend, he was the backbone of many families, ”said Chirantar, nephew of the deceased.
Recalling his 30-year-old association with the family, Rajinder Kalra, General Secretary, Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association, shared how Kumar contributed to the cause of thalassaemic children by helping the NGO organise voluntary blood donation camps since 1995.
“Even in his death, he has done the same what he lived for”, said Kalra. Dr Vipin Koushal, Nodal Officer, ROTTO PGIMER, while paying his tribute to the deceased said, “Through their magnanimous gesture, the family has conveyed a very strong message to pledge for organ donation.”