In a noble gesture, 11-year-old Vishnu did not even bat an eyelid before agreeing to donate the heart valves of his mother, Radhika, who died in a road accident in the Kerala capital on Sunday.
Having lost his father a few years ago, the grief-stricken Vishnu gave his consent for the donation to doctors at the Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital. Vishnu’s maternal uncle signed the consent papers on his behalf.
The doctors, though aware Vishnu had been orphaned, decided to approach him for the consent. Time is of the essence in organ harvesting.
Radhika, a government employee, was riding her scooter with Vishnu on the pillion when an auto collided with the two-wheeler. Vishnu escaped with minor injuries.
The heart valves, removed during the postmortem at the hospital, have been handed over to the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Science and Techonolgy here. According to Dr SK Jawahar of the Sree Chitra Institute, the valves will save the lives of two patients.
“The recipients of these valves have not been identified yet. Before implanting the valves, we have to go through sterilising tests to establish their worthiness,” Dr Jawahar said. The valves have now been kept at the institute’s organ bank.
According to doctors, a vigorous organ donation campaign launched by the government and NGOs has helped many take such timely decisions.
Last year, all the residents of a Pootharakkal village in Thrissur district pledged their organs to the Kidney Federation of India, an NGO floated by Catholic priest Father Davis Chiramel, who set an example by donating one of his kidneys to an ailing patient.