Champions of Organ Donation

CHENNAI:  They could be called champions of organ donation. Families of five brain-dead people donated their organs at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on Monday, thereby giving a fresh lease of life to 23 patients awaiting transplants of heart, kidneys, lungs and cornea.

Saranya and Amarnath's father G Ravikumar had suffered a stroke. The family agreed to donate his organs after counsellors explained them how their father could live on in others. "Though our father is not with us, he lives in two people now," said Saranya, a banker.

For Anandi, donating the nine organs of her brain-dead husband was a difficult decision. But she took it in her stride. "I would see my husband in the recipients. I'm happy," she said.

India's record still continues to be dismal in organ donation.

But in India, Tamil Nadu has the highest number of donations a year. Also, the support from the authorities, like the green corridors devised by the Chennai police, has given it a further boost. The challenge now is to raise awareness in rural areas.

Dr J Radhakrishnan, health secretary said, "We are now focusing on rural areas through several audio visual campaigns."  

"In the US the organs fly from state to state and country to country. I wish India comes to that level," said Dr Prathap C Reddy of Apollo Hospitals.