A 14-year-old boy, Pruthviraj Deshmukh, underwent a kidney transplant at a hospital in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu recently.
While the boy received the organ from his father, a rickshaw driver, the operation was funded by Viney Kirpal, (70), a heart transplant survivor who works at an NGO in Pune.
While the Deshmukhs could not collect enough money for the operation, Kirpal, founder member of Great Foundation — an NGO that has worked with more than 45,000 children and over 117 schools — learnt about Pruthviraj’s condition during a visit to the office of the Charity Commissioner in Pune in March. Kirpal was visiting the government office to complete documentation procedures required to discontinue operations that started 17 years ago, due to her health.
Initially, she had agreed to pay Rs 3.5 lakh to the Deshmukhs and hoped that her small gesture would inspire others to step forward.
“But I later learned that the boy’s family had not managed to raise enough money and the operation was getting delayed. I could emotionally connect with the family…what was the use of having an organ and some money and still not able to get treatment? I immediately decided to pay Rs 7 lakh for the transplant,” said Kirpal, who took voluntary retirement as professor in English and head of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) department at IIT-Bombay.
Pruthviraj successfully underwent the transplant in Coimbatore and both father-son duo are recuperating well.
“I have survived a heart transplant and am doing fine. I can even walk faster than before. If I could get healthy, your son too, will recover and get better,” Kirpal told Pruthviraj’s mother after his 14 hour-long surgery last week.
Kirpal shared another successful organ transplant story. At Fortis Hospital, Chennai, where Kirpal underwent the heart transplant in October last year, a 21-year-old man who suffered from heart and lung failure was admitted.
Kirpal, through her foundation, paid a sum of Rs 5 lakh for the man’s operation.