IN PROBABLY the first in the country, a newborn baby that survived for only 68.3 hours became the youngest-ever organ donor in PGIMER’s transplant history. The newborn gave a new lease of life in the form of his baby kidneys to a 21-year-old woman whose both kidneys had failed.
The baby boy belonged to Patiala district. When doctors broke the news to young parents on Wednesday that their newborn wouldn’t pull through, the parents expressed their desire to donate his organs stating that “they want their baby to re-live through others”.
PGI claimed that the newborn is probably the youngest organ donor in India, but is definitely the youngest ever do not in the transplant history of the hospital since the cadaver organ transplant programme was initiated in 1996.
The child was detected with congenital disease at a hospital in Patiala from where he was referred to PGIMER, Chandigarh. Professor Ashish Sharma, head, Department of Renal Transplant Surgery, PGIMER, said, “Retrieving organs from children for transplant is rare, it is even more uncommon from newborn babies with congenital anomalies. The case had its own kinds of challenges. On the one hand, the donor was a newborn so the retrieval was also not routine procedure and demanded extreme deftness and skill to accomplish it successfully. On the other hand, the best matched recipient was an adult so both the kidneys were transplanted into one recipient considering the age factor.”
“The case is also important as it puts focus back on neo-natal organ donation as a way of increasing the number of organ donors in the future,” Prof Sharma said.
The grief-stricken father of the baby, who wanted to keep his identity anonymous, said, “It’s something no family should go through. We said yes to organ donation because we knew this could help someone else and they wouldn’t need to go through the heartache that we were going through. We knew it was the right thing to do.”
“We just want people to know about the cause and not who did it as we have done it so that our baby re-lives through others. We have done it for our own peace and solace. We hope our child’s story will inspire families who find themselves in the same position. We want people to realise that death is not the end of things, people can live on through others, through this,” the young father said.
Professor Jagat Ram, director of PGIMER, stated, “PGIMER’s team of experts right from neo-natology, radiology, nephrology, anaesthesia, immunopahtology and transplant surgery complemented by the extended teams from testing labs and nursing units, has enabled this rare and landmark transplant within a tiny time frame. But it was not possible to reach this far without the gritty decision and selfless gesture of the donor family.”
Prof Vipin Koushal, nodal officer, ROTTO PGIMER, stated, “Life after death sounded unrealistic until organ donation gave it a meaning. This case of cadaver organ donation has been an epitome of humanity and self-sacrifice on two counts: the donor family’s courage and resolution to donate the organs of their angelic and cherubic baby, and PGIMER’s determined efforts to make this rare transplant a success despite odds.”
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