Convinced by a Sikh, a Muslim family came forward to donate organs to give a new lease of life to four people, including two Hindus, at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
This is a rare instance when a Muslim family has agreed to donate organs to save lives of people of other religion, say PGI officials.
The donor, Hussain (name changed), 50, from a village in SAS Nagar, was a labourer, who had worked in the fields of a Sikh landlord throughout his life.
On June-21 night, Hussain was on his way back home on his motorcycle when he met with an accident, severely injuring his head. After he was rushed to the Advanced Trauma Centre, PGI, he was declared brain dead the next day.
“The transplant coordinator concerned was not confident before talking to the family, as the brain dead patient was a Muslim, and this community usually does not donate organs,” said an official from PGI.
But when tried, the family got convinced in less than two hours.
“When asked if they want to help people who needed organs, his son agreed and later Hussain’s wife also gave her consent,” the official said.
She added, “Playing a major role in organ donation, Sardaar ji (the Sikh landlord) convinced them about the importance of the organ donation.”
The Sikh landlord, seeking anonymity, said, “The family is living with us for decades. Though they work for us, they are more of a family. When doctors told me about the organ donation concept, I talked to Hussain’s son, who agreed to save lives.”
The Muslim family did not wish to reveal their identity due to various social reasons.
“I did what my father would’ve wanted me to do. I just felt he was telling me to donate organs. My father was a hero. He lived for these humanitarian values, and in his death too, he did the same,” said Hussain’s elder son.
‘ALLAH CAME TO RESCUE US IN FORM OF DONOR’
For long, Ashok Kumar (name changed on request), 47, knew, without a kidney transplant, his chance of surviving debilitating kidney ailment was zero. Ever since he was hospitalised, frequent dialysis, daily ordeal of managing even smallest things had become a sheer torture, says Kumar.
However, a gentle gesture shown by the Husain’s family literally saved Kumar as he underwent through a kidney transplant at the PGI.
“In the month Ramzan, it seems, Allah came to our rescue in the form of the donor. We have no words to convey our gratitude to his family for giving my father a second chance to live,” said teary-eyed daughter of Ashok Kumar.
Similar sentiment was echoed by the second kidney recipient after she underwent a surgery on Thursday. “I can’t thank the donor’s family enough. Though strangers, their altruism gave me a new lease of life,” said the recipient.
Not only this, Hussain will be a reason to bring happiness in the lives of two more recipients, who will undergo cornea transplants in a few days.
Dr Vipin Koushal, nodal officer, Regional Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisation (ROTTO), PGI, who oversees the entire process, said, “I think you develop a different level of respect for a donor’s family for their spirit of unconditional love amidst braving their own pain. There can’t be a better teaching in humanity and secularism than organ donation. The way public is supporting the cause is very magnanimous indeed. We salute the donor families.”