Turn the 'end of a life' to a new beginning for other lives

NEW DELHI: It's an organ donation programme that could leave any other hospital in India envious.

Over the last week, there have been two multiple organ donations at the Army Hospital (R&R) in New Delhi. Interestingly, in both instances, the families volunteered for organ donation even before they were approached by hospital authorities.

One of the donors was Lt-Col Dinesh Singh Dod, posted in the defence ministry. Just 43, he died on March 22 after suffering a intracerebral haemorrhage, leaving behind wife Tanuja and a 12-year-old son.

While Lt-Col Dod's family is extremely unhappy about `negligence in medical intervention' after the officer first fainted, they did not let the bitterness come in the way of organ donation. "Dinesh and his wife Tanuja had earlier decided to donate their organs. We are proud of it,'' said a close relative.

The heart was given to a serving soldier with heart failure. The liver was transplanted to a father of a serving soldier suffering from end-stage liver failure, while the kidneys were given to two patients suffering from renal failure.

The story of 18-year-old Ajay is equally inspiring. He died of an illness on March 27. However, his father Havildar Laxman Singh volunteered to donate his organs. The liver was given to a serving soldier suffering from liver failure. One kidney was given to a daughter of a soldier and the second kidney went to a soldier. Both these patients were suffering from terminal renal failure and can now look forward to a new life.

This was the third cardiac transplantation in the hospital, a pioneering feat considering that very few cardiac transplants have taken place in India.

The number of liver transplants done at Army Hospital (R&R) has risen to 41 that include 29 transplants done through organ donation. The organ donation initiative in the armed forces is three years old and is coordinated by the Armed Forces Organ Retrieval and Transplantation Authority (AORTA) in Army hospital (R&R).

A total of 89 brain deaths have been declared in this hospital. Thirty of 66 families counselled for organ donation agreed, resulting in 28 multiple organ donations that have facilitated 29 liver, 42 kidney, 3 heart, 13 heart valves and 46 corneal transplants.

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