As Anuj Aditya Singh, 25, battled for his life inside the Intensive Critical Unit II trauma wing at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), his family sat huddled on the floor in the corridor outside.
They know Anuj’s blood pressure is registering a constant fall and the doctors have little hope of resuscitating him. His family is clinging to the feeble hope of him bouncing back. Hesitantly, the doctors have suggested organ donation but Anuj’s family say they are still praying.
“The doctors have not declared him brain dead, so we cannot let our son go. We will cling on to the last bit of hope,” said his maternal uncle Vijesh Chauhan, while his father sat absolutely still staring at his mobile phone, which rang continuously.
Since Anuj’s pupillary reflexes are still responding, which means the pupil contracts when light is shone on it, the neurosurgeons cannot make the final call yet.
“The fact is that he is on life support and his blood pressure levels are maintained artificially. His condition is deteriorating but since one of his reflexes is working, we cannot declare him brain dead,” says Dr Deepak Agarwal, assistant professor, at the neurosurgery department in AIIMS.
“Organ donation is not an easy decision. The family is still hopeful and as doctors, we never give up, at least till the family gives in,” says the treating doctor.
The doctors as well as the family are aware chances of Anuj’s revival are bleak — the minute the patient is put off the life support he will, in most probability, die. But the family is finding it impossible to come to terms with the loss.
“Miracles happen and till there is hope, we will keep him alive. It is not easy to let a family member go, especially when you know he is breathing,” says Dr Agarwal says.