Armed forces lead the way in organ donation

March 7th, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The 18-month-old son of Major Sidharth Malik fell from the balcony and was declared brain dead by doctors. Malik donated his son’s kidney to give a fresh lease of life to a serving soldier. The child’s eyes gave sight to two more people.

“I am a proud father. I will request all to come and pledge organs and live longer,” Malik said here Friday even as his voice choked with emotion.

Like Malik, eight more armed forces families have donated their relatives’ organs like kidney, liver, eyes and heart to save the life of over 25 people including some serving soldiers and a one-year-old heart patient.

Over 1,000 armed forces personnel have pledged to donate their organs, once they are brain dead, a situation when a person’s brain stops functioning, there is no chance of survival but blood continues to flow through the body.

Last August, after Leela Devi, 26, lost the battle against brain tumour, her husband Lance Naik G.S. Bhist consented to donate her organs.

A combined team of 40 doctors and support staff successfully transplanted her liver into a serving soldier with terminal cirrhosis and one kidney in a 12-year-old daughter of a soldier suffering from end stage kidney disease.

The other kidney was handed over to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for saving the life of a 45-year-old person with chronic kidney failure.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony felicitated the families that came forward to save the life of others at a programme held at Air Force auditorium here.

“It’s a noble cause and our armed forces are definitely saving other’s lives even after death,” said Antony.

He also inaugurated the 16th annual conference of Indian National Association for Study of Liver at the same venue.

“These nine families are really brave and I am sure many armed forces families will come forward to help others by donating organs,” said Col. A.K. Seth, director of Army Organ Retrieval and Transplant Organisation (AORTA).

Seth, who himself is a senior transplant surgeon, said they have invited Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra and ex-cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu to pledge their organs and ask people to do the same.

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