After an organ donated to her by a senior citizen gave her a new lease of life, Jayshree Mehta, 41, the first patient to undergo a lung transplant in the country, said she wants to dedicate her life to promoting organ donation.
Mehta underwent a 12-hour operation on July 11 at PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim. “If the donor’s family had not agreed to donate the organs, I would not be alive today. There are so many people who are in need of an organ. I will create awareness on organ donation,” said Mehta, after she was discharged.
Mehta was suffering from interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, a condition where the lung tissues get damaged, resulting in reduced oxygen supply to the body. She was on external oxygen supply and bedridden for six months, before the surgery.
“She would need a mobile oxygen cylinder to walk even ten steps. It is sad to see your child in such a state. We would be awake all night fearing her cylinder would slip off, but now she sleeps like a child,” said Mehta’s mother Madhuben Singara.
Mehta’s surgery was initially scheduled in the first week of July, but the family of the patient whose organs were to be donated revoked permission at the last minute. “I then asked God for a donor before my birthday (July 11),” she said.
The senior citizen who was Mehta’s donor was brain dead, and his wife went against her family to donate his organs.
“Even for a brain dead patient, who has pledged his organs for donation, relatives’ consent is required. Every hospital in the city has a cadaver at any given point of time. Doctors should be sensitised to identify brain dead patients,” said Dr Gustad Daver, medical director, Hinduja Hospital.