In 2011, M. Archunan was trying to cross the road on his way home from work when he was knocked down by a two-wheeler. He sustained severe head injuries and was rushed to a nearby private hospital. From there, he was referred to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, where doctors declared him brain dead six days after the accident.

“The doctors told me that his organs could be harvested. We gave away five organs,” said his wife Karuppaiamma who has four children. On Wednesday, her son Samikannan, who works in a BPO, walked up to the dais to receive a certificate, in a ceremony held to honour relatives of organ donors.

In August last year, when Ammu (20) complained of headache and giddiness, her elder sister Eswari took her to a hospital. Doctors there diagnosed it as brain haemorrhage and referred her to the GH. Ammu was declared brain dead.

“I brought her up as my daughter. She always expressed a will to live and we decided to abide by her wish. We donated her organs. Someone will live through her,” said Eswari.

According to hospital dean V. Kanagasabai, 301 people have been certified brain dead and 890 organs have been harvested at GH since 2008. “The GH has a 22 per cent share in organ transplants and this is the highest among hospitals,” he said.

Health Minister V.S. Vijay felicitated the donors’ families at the function.