Ramkishor, a research scholar in the US, who died in an accident had pledged his organs when alive, inspiring others to do the same
VIJAYAWADA: Ramkishor Sadhu probably had very little idea of the giant stride he was taking when he casually checked the box against the question, “Do you want to be an organ donor?” in the application he made for a driving licence in the US.
But that simple action of this cellular and molecular biology researcher at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, who died in a road accident near Boston, Massachusetts on September 23, made him an icon of sorts in the American Telugu circles.
Ramkishor’s five vital organs – heart, lungs, liver and two kidneys – were harvested after he died on September 27, battling for life for four days. They were received by five different individuals who were waiting for long.
Ramkishor, whose parents belong to Srikakulam district, was driving a hired car along with his friends Sripal Reddy, Sankarsh Reddy and Sripal’s parents, when a momentary dozing off proved fatal. While Sripal’s parents died on the spot, Ramkishor was airlifted and treated at two hospitals before he succumbed to the severe injury to the brain.
After the authorities of Massachusetts General Hospital alerted the New England Organ Bank about the condition of Ramkishor and that he was an organ donor by consent, the bank’s officials coordinated with Telugu Association of North America secretary Mohan Nannapaneni in getting the consent of his parents.
“Ramkishor’s father and sister were initially apprehensive feeling the hospital authorities may not extend the best treatment to him, so that they can take out his organs. But when I explained to them that there are several safeguards, they agreed and conveyed their consent,” Mr. Nannapaneni told this correspondent on phone from the US.
Mr. Nannapaneni, who ensured sufficient financial help to air transport the body to Hyderabad, said though Ramkishor’s gesture was not rare, it was well received by all Telugu families. It found a special mention in the Diwali meetings of the Telugu families. “It made many more Telugu people pledge their organs,” Mr. Nannapaneni said.