Just a few days before her SSC examination, Honey Savla was shortlisted by her doctor as an urgent case for kidney transplant.
While one kidney had completely failed, the other kidney functioned only 10 per cent.
“She had an open heart surgery and then we learnt that her kidneys had failed. We were given a period of three months within which she would have to undergo a surgery. She was going to write her Class 10 exam in a few days and we didn’t tell her. But she could sense something wrong, her health was deteriorating,” said her mother Manju Savla, who donated her kidney to 17-year-old Honey.
A Commerce student of Kandivli’s Thakur College, Honey not only passed her examination with first class marks but also put her past illness behind her.
“I am completely normal and can do everything that anyone else can. My mother has given me life twice and I am grateful for her selfless deed. But there are lots of people who still need donors, can’t others come forward?” said the aspiring fashion designer.
On Friday, around 70 donors and their family members were felicitated by Hinduja Hospital for their selfless act.
“In 2008, there were fewer kidney donations at the hospital than previous years. It could be due to exposure of the kidney racket and the apprehensions among doctors and patients. But the fact remains that the numbers have gone down which is disturbing. By such events we are trying to encourage donors and create awareness,” said Dr Alan Almeida, nephrologist at Hinduja Hospital.
He added that another trend that has emerged is ‘swapping’ of kidneys.
“In cases where the blood group of family members don’t match, they are showing interest in swapping with other patients in a similar situation,” said Almeida.
A song and dance show at the felicitation programme saw many organ donors shake a leg with recipients and doctors from the hospital.
A donor herself, Manju Gala (49) who donated a kidney to her husband two years ago, now acts as a counsellor for other donors.
“People know that I’ve donated and so people in problem contact me and I counsel them. At other times, I speak or perform at such functions. Before the donation my family was in a mess. Now all of us are leading fuller lives, I want it to happen to others,” said Gala.