A retired Delhi Police officer donated the body of his 63-year-old wife to the Organ Retrieval and Banking Organisation (ORBO) at AIIMS after she died of a cardiac arrest in the hospital on Wednesday.
The donation came a day after 34 lives were saved by a 21-year-old brain dead victim's family.
Suman Bhatia, who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in 2003, was admitted in the department of medicine at AIIMS on December 10 with the last stage of an interstitial lung disease, a form of fatal lung infection.
A Delhi-based entrepreneur, she had expressed her wish of donating her body to medical students for research, to her husband a few weeks ago. "The doctors at AIIMS took good care of her for nearly 10 years. Donating her body was her way of thanking them. She has been a great inspiration in my life, considering the way she managed not just her personal but professional life too. She had a strong will power that kept her going despite her disease. Now, I have also decided to donate my body," said Ramesh C. Bhatia, a retired Delhi Police ACP. The former cop has also served in the Central Bureau of Investigation and as a diplomat in the Indian high commission in the UK.
After Suman was declared dead around 11.20am, the family informed the hospital of her decision. But since she had had a heart attack, only her cornea and bones could be used.
The family then donated her body for medical education, making it the 20th whole body donation so far this year at AIIMS.
Doctors at the hospital claimed that the trend of whole body donations was increasing in the hospital. This has provided much relief to undergraduate, post-graduate and super-specialty medical students.
"There was a time when our students only relied on unclaimed bodies provided by police for hands-on training. Often 10-15 students would work on one body," said Dr Arti Vij, chief of ORBO. "But things are improving now. We not only have sufficient bodies for our students, but are also able to provide them to other medical colleges for research," added she added.