Chandigarh : 15 April : PGIMER witnessed indomitable spirit and exceptional courage by two more families amid their own grief as they consented for organ donation of their departed dear ones, giving fresh lease of life to five terminally ill patients and restoring the sight of four corneal blind patients. In all, nine lives have been impacted with the generous ‘’spirit of giving’’ of these two donor families in the last two days here at PGIMER.

A usually active and soft spoken Satbir Kaur, 37 years old, a teacher with Gurukul School, Zirakpur  was admitted in Amcare Hospital, Zirakpur following sudden onset of nausea and headache on 13th April’. However, the destiny had something else in the offing and the best of the medical attention could not retrieve Satbir Kaur from that precarious condition and she became brain dead on 13th April there in Amcare Hospital.

Braving their own grave tragedy, the family took an exceptionally courageous initiative and expressed willingness to donate organs of the deceased. Immediately, Amcare Hospital got in touch with PGIMER for retrieval of organs and the deceased was accordingly shifted to PGIMER on 13th April wherein following the protocols of THOA, Satbir Kaur was declared brain dead on 13th April.

Setting a role model for all of us to emulate, Nitish Sharma, husband of the deceased, being aware about the noble cause,  consented for organs donation, following which liver, kidneys and cornea of the deceased were harvested for transplantation.

Having no matching recipient for liver here in PGIMER, it was allocated to ILBS, New Delhi for a matching recipient with the active intervention of NOTTO. The liver was sent to New Delhi via 3.25 pm flight on 14th April by creating a green corridor from PGIMER to International Airport, Mohali. The harvested kidneys and corneas were transplanted to the matching recipients here in PGIMER only.  

A day prior, another family from Kurukshetra showcased the same magnanimity and sacrifice when confronted with the tragic and untimely death of their dear one.  The sudden demise of patient  Jaswinder Singh, also of 37 years from Kurukshetra  was beyond comprehension and extremely difficult to reconcile. After sustaining grave head injuries in a road accident due to head on collision of two-wheelers on 10th April, Jaswinder Singh was immediately rushed to a local hospital in Kurukshetra for initial treatment. Seeing no improvement in the critical condition, the family shifted him to PGIMER on 11th April. But as the luck would have it,  Jaswinder Singh lost his battle with life and was declared brain dead on 12th April.  

In a rare gesture of generosity, the family of Jaswinder Singh  consented for organ donation when the transplant coordinators raised the matter with them. Following the consent, kidneys and corneas of the deceased were retrieved for matching recipients.

The retrieved  organs and tissues of  Satbir Kaur and Jaswinder Singh,  through transplantation enabled second lease of life to five patients battling for survival and gave sight to another four  thereby impacting nine lives in all, including one in ILBS, New Delhi.  

“My wife was a gem of a person. She was a picture of compassion and care. So I thought it should be her final act as well. In fact, I felt as if she wanted me to go-ahead with the decision of Organ Donation. She died the same way she lived…caring for others”, stated brave-heart Nitish Sharma, husband of Satbir Kaur.

The same sentiment was echoed by courageous Kusum, wife of donor Jaswinder Singh, “Our pain and trauma is beyond words. He has been such a pious person, even then the destiny has been so callous to us. With organ donation, at least I will be able to save someone else the pain and trauma of losing their parent. This will be our biggest tribute to him.”

 Detailing about the latest cadaver donation experience, Dr. Vipin Koushal, Nodal Officer, ROTTO PGIMER stated, “Cadaver organ donation is actually a story of resurrection. Out of death and despair comes new life. We honour the resolute spirit of the families of Satbir Kaur and Jaswinder Singh for reiterating our faith in humanity and instilling our confidence in sustainability of cadaver organ donation programme.

"The determined effort by the entire PGIMER team involved in the process to translate that noble wish by actually giving life to others is hugely commendable.We are also indebted by the support that we get from all quarters be it Chandigarh Administration, Police Deptt., Airport Authorities via Green Corridor, making sure that the wish of the family is respected despite whatever odds," added Dr. Koushal.