Chandigarh : 19 September, Following the magnanimous gesture of organ donation of their deceased dear one by Bhatia family from Morinda, district Roopnagar, another family from village Majri of the same district overcame their unbearable heartache of losing their 26 year old young son Raj Kumar for a greater cause. They turned their gravest tragedy into a precious gift with their ‘Spirit of Giving’ for four hapless and helpless patients with the transplantation of pancreas, kidneys and corneas here in PGIMER. This was the 21st cadaver organ donation of 2019 at PGIMER.

Prof. Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER, while paying homage to the donor Raj Kumar, stated, "Our mission at PGIMER is to honour the donor family’s decision, perhaps the hardest and incredibly moving one of their lives, of organ donation of their deceased dear one. Our hearts go out to donor families, like the family of donor Raj Kumar and we thank them for their gracious gift to others amid their own tragedy. At the same time, we at PGIMER feel humbled by the trust reposed by the donor families in the institution for their bravest decision.”

Echoing the same sentiments, Prof. A.K. Gupta, Medical Superintendent cum Head, Deptt. of Hospital Administration, PGIMER reiterated “With consistent awareness initiatives, cadaver donation programme at PGIMER is going at a good pace. However, considering the ever widening gap between donations and dire need, the road ahead is really challenging and engagement by one and all for the cause is the only answer. This will also be a real expression of gratitude to the brave heart donor families like that of donor Raj Kumar for their selfless and unconditional sacrifice.”

The day of 14th September started as usual on a happy note but ended with a pall of gloom for the donor family as their young son, Raj Kumar, who worked in a private factory, while going to work on his bike near Una was brutally hit in a head-on collision with another rashly driven bike from the opposite, leaving him unconscious with severe head injuries.

Initially rushed to District Hospital, Una, Raj Kumar was brought to PGIMER in an extremely precarious condition on 16th September. However, the destiny had willed otherwise as the donor finally succumbed to his injuries and was declared brain dead after the two meetings of the brain death certification committee here at PGIMER on the evening of 17th September.

After it became clear that donor would not survive his devastating head injuries, the Transplant Coordinator at PGIMER approached the family of deceased to request if they could consider organ donation.

Even in this darkest hour and amid her own grief, the gritty mother Pushpa Devi of the donor Raj Kumar showed exceptional courage by consenting to donate the organs of her young son.

Trying to come to terms with this cruel twist of fate, Pushpa Devi shared, “Our son was our pride, our purpose, our very life force. Last year, I lost my husband battling with cancer and now the family is confronted with this bolt from the blue. My other son is also disabled. Raj Kumar was, in fact, the lifeline of the family and he has been so mercilessly snatched by the Almighty in his prime. We could do nothing but cry and wail. Nobody can be more unfortunate than us.”

“Through Organ Donation, I want my son’s memory to live on, and I just want the world to know that I`m so proud of him, Despite losing his own life, he saved others. His legacy is living on by helping four others continue with their lives, and their parents and all the lives that are being touched as a result”, added the grieving but resolute mother Pushpa Devi of the donor Raj Kumar.

Following the family’s decision for organ donation, the transplant surgeons retrieved pancreas and kidneys from the donor, which on transplantation, gave second chance at life to two terminally ill renal failure patients. Another two would get the gift of sight with the transplantation of the harvested corneas, thereby impacting four lives in all with the gracious gesture of the donor family of Raj Kumar.