For the first time, the Kerala Network for Organ Sharing (KNOS), also known as Mrithasanjeevani, has recorded the donation of five organs – the most from a single patient so far. It’s also the first organ donation of the year for KNOS.
The remarkable humanitarian deed has been made possible thanks to the family of 29-year-old Arun Raj who was declared brain-dead by doctors at the Little Flower Hospital in Angamaly on Monday, a day after he was grievously injured in a road accident. Arun, who was riding pillion on a bike, was thrown off on the road when a car hit the motorcycle. Although he was rushed to the hospital, he could not be saved. When doctors certified him brain-dead as per medical protocol, Arun’s family decided to donate all his organs.
The Angamaly-based hospital contacted KNOS, a government body that tracks organ donations in the state. “We have a priority list of patients who are in critical condition at several hospitals in the state. When we know about a donor, we immediately get in touch with the concerned hospital and ensure that the transplant takes place as soon as possible,” said a top KNOS official.
According to KNOS, Arun’s heart, liver, two kidneys, pancreas and hands are set to be transplanted in the bodies of seven patients who are disabled or in critical care. His eyes have been donated separately to the hospital’s eye bank. While Arun’s heart will now beat inside the body of a 19-year-old boy at Chennai’s Fortis Malar hospital, his liver will go to a patient at Amrita hospital in Kochi. At the same hospital, a Tamil woman, who has been undergoing treatment for six months, will receive Arun’s hands. Another patient at Amrita hospital will get one of Arun’s kidneys and his pancreas as well. The second kidney will go to a needy patient at the Kottayam medical college. Both his eyes will be transplanted in two separate patients’ bodies this week.
Gracy Peter, a local councillor who knew Arun and was at the hospital at the time on Monday morning, said it was a very difficult time.
‘He was a very good boy. His loss is very painful,’ she told the Indian Express. ‘Once the doctor said he was brain dead, we convinced his family to donate his organs. His father said that if his son cannot return to life, then other people should live through him,’ she added.
The councillor said that the entire exercise of organ harvesting was only possible because of the teamwork of hospital authorities, Arun’s family, KNOS officials and government officers including health minister KK Shailaja. The health minister, who’s visiting Ernakulam district on Thursday, is slated to meet Arun’s mother and father.