Sowdesh was declared brain dead after being knocked down by a motorcycle

Sorrow at the loss of their child did not deter the parents of Sowdesh from making a decision that would make a difference to the lives of complete strangers.

R. Mani and M. Indrani, powerloom workers at Sirumugai, about 50 km from here, decided to allow doctors to remove the vital organs from their 11-year-old's body, after he was declared brain dead on Monday.

Sowdesh's eyes, liver, kidneys and heart valves were removed at a city hospital on Tuesday.

Sowdesh suffered head injury after a two-wheeler lost control and knocked him down while he was playing with friends, near his house, Mr. Mani said.

He was rushed in a 108 EMRI ambulance to a nearby clinic, and from there, to Government Hospital, Mettupalayam. The doctors there asked the boy to be rushed to a city hospital and he was taken to Sri Ramakrishna Hospital here.

At 7.30 p.m. on Saturday, he was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital. He did not respond to the treatment, and confirmatory tests for brain death were done on Monday, according to Anil Kumar, dean of the hospital.

Once the parents came to know about this, they came forward to donate the boy's organs. The family was influenced by newspaper reports on organ donation they had read while in Chennai.

“Newspaper reports and television news on organ donation and cadaver transplantation helped us understand the issue. Though at that time we never imagined we would have to do it ourselves, the time had come for us to make that decision. We were ready to help others with our son's organs,” Mr. Mani said.

The hospital then got in touch with MOHAN Foundation, which had recently started a branch in Coimbatore, and the State Government's Cadaver Transplant co-ordinator, to coordinate the organ harvest and donation.

On Tuesday, medical teams from Apollo Hospital and Frontier Lifeline Hospital in Chennai were sent to aid in harvesting the organs.

Sowdesh's liver went to a patient at Apollo and his heart valves to Frontier Lifeline. One kidney was used on a patient at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital itself, and the other taken to K.G. Hospital. The corneas were sent to Sankara Eye Centre, here.

Sowdesh's older brother M. Poovannan is a second year student of a college at Periyakulam. The family, whose monthly income is only Rs.5,000, is shattered by the tragedy, but derives some satisfaction from the fact that Sowdesh's organs have been donated to persons desperately in need of them.