Chandigarh : Two children aged 10 and 11 may have lost their respective battles for life at the PGIMER here but even in death they, and their considerate parents, ensured that five organ-failure patients got fresh leases of life through organ donations, doctors said on Sunday.
One heart and four kidneys from the deceased children were harvested and transplanted to the seriously ill patients last week amid the coronavirus pandemic, the doctors said. It was the sixth heart transplant at operation at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) till now.
PGIMER Director Jagat Ram said: "With an increase in corona cases, we are overwhelmed by the rush of patients. So, keeping patients waiting for organ transplant operations in this environment as well as conducting transplants is ridden with multiple challenges."
"This goes to the credit of each and every member of the PGIMER team involved in the process that their untiring efforts enabled the saving of five other lives through organ donations while grappling with the unprecedented corona crisis."
Expressing gratitude to the bereaved families for agreeing to organs' donation, Dr Ram said: "As life ends for one person, it is a beginning for someone else. That is the bitter-sweet reality of organ donation. It is an extremely hard decision for the donor family, but families of these two donor children from the adjoining districts of Mohali and Ropar in Punjab definitely instil a sense of confidence and bring in a ray of hope."
Dr Ashish Sharma, Head of Department of Renal Transplant Surgery, who led the back-to-back procedures to transplant four kidneys, said: "There were challenges involved in doing transplants in view of the Covid-19 outbreak. Special precautions were taken to proceed with the transplant surgeries.
"The deceased donors as well as recipients were tested and confirmed to be negative for Covid-19. Fortunately, all four kidneys after transplants in recipient patients have started to function well. The recipients were grateful to the donor families as all four were on dialysis for more than three years."
Vipin Koushal, Nodal Officer at the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation, said the selfless act of organ donation during these difficult times showed the magnanimity of the donor families who had suffered the loss of young children.
"It's an extremely tough call but the 'spirit of giving' overcomes all obstacles," he remarked.
"Nothing can console a parent over the death of his or her child, but knowing that my 10-year-old daughter's organs gave a second lease of life to three others made us feel that she did not die in vain," said her grieving father living in Kharar town.
He said his daughter was grievously injured after falling from a height on July 14 at her home. After battling for life for over a week at the hospital, she succumbed to her injuries and was declared brain dead on July 24.
Later, the consent for organ donation by her family saved three patients' lives after the transplant of one heart and two kidneys. The child's identity was kept confidential on the request of the parents.
In the second case, 11-year-old Amandeep from village Chikha in Ropar district was admitted to the PGIMER on July 16 with intracranial bleed. His condition kept worsening and he was declared brain dead on July 22.
Sharing his feelings after consenting for organ donation, the child's grief-stricken father Partap Singh said his son was haemophilic and could survive all these years because of blood donations by generous strangers.
"So, my decision to donate his organs was, in a way, expression of gratitude to all those donors who enabled us to spent precious time with our adorable son," he said.
Singh's decision helped save two seriously ill kidney patients.