“We realised our daughter would never return, so we decided to help others”

When 17-year-old Payal (name changed because her parents preferred not to reveal it) was declared brain dead on September 2, a day short of her 18th birthday, at a private hospital in the Capital, her parents made what they claim was the most difficult decision of their lives. “We decided to donate our child’s organs, and today we are proud to say that she has helped save the lives of three persons and helped restore sight to two others,” says Ajay Mathur, father of the deceased child.

The child had met with an accident on the outskirts of the Capital on August 23 and was admitted to BLK Super Speciality Hospital on August 25.

BLK Super Speciality Hospital Nephrology/Renal Transplant Services senior consultant and director Dr. Sunil Prakash says: “The patient was declared brain dead on September 2 and we harvested her organs including kidneys, liver and cornea. While one kidney was used for a patient in our hospital, a liver and kidney was used by Army Research & Referral Hospital, New Delhi, and her corneas were donated to the Centre for Sight.”

Speaking at a function organised by the hospital here on Thursday to felicitate the girl’s parents, Mr. Mathur said: “Donating her organs was an emotional decision for all of us. But we realised that our daughter was never going to return, so we decided to help others.”

Dr. Prakash said: “In India, thousands of patients die either for want of donors or because they had to wait for too long. Recent data shows that as many as 1.25 lakh Indians died in road accidents last year but only less than 20,000 of them had donated their kidneys, liver, pancreas or heart for potential recipients. In India, nearly 14 people are involved in fatal accidents every hour. Of these, one brain dead person could save 7-8 lives, which can overcome the shortage and prevent illegal activities of organ use.”

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