Six people got a new lease of life with parents of Harshita Bharech, 17, who was declared brain dead in a city hospital, donating her organs.
Bharech had been admitted to New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for treatment for an intestinal ulcer and a brain injury on April 25. However, even an immediate surgery could not help improve her condition and on April 29, she was declared brain dead.
As per the protocol, a team of doctors counseled the parents to agree to donate her organs.
Bharech’s liver and one of her kidneys were successfully transplanted into two of the hospital’s in-patients. The other organs— heart valves, the second kidney and corneas, were shared with other transplant centres in the city.
“I appreciate the courage of the parents, who despite their immense grief took this decision. Despite being one of the leading transplant centres in the country, there is a long list of people awaiting transplant only for want of organs,” said Dr BK Rao, chairman, board of management at the hospital.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ Trauma Centre, which gets nearly 200 brain dead people in a year, does not get to convince families of more than three people to donate organs. The reasons why people do not agree to donating organs range from emotional to even religious.
“Our daughter was so full of life that we thought this would be the best way to keep her alive. To know that our daughter’s death has given life to some one else is a satisfying thought,” said Mahendar Bharech, her father.
The Human Organ Transplant Act, 1994, paved the way for cadaver transplantation. It means transplantation of organs from those who have passed away, to a living patient who needs it. In a brain dead person, almost 37 different organs and tissues can be donated including critical organs such as kidneys, heart, liver and lungs.