I know this article is about Hope, but before that, I want to talk about Gifts. I want to know what the best gift you ever got in your whole life or, you will be expecting in years to come is? No No, not that materialistic stuff, not car or jewels. I mean things that can’t be bought, as they say in MASTERCARD ad, that some things money can’t buy. I want to know stuff; please count seven such things on your fingertips. One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, DONE? Now tell me was Hope anywhere on your list?
I know Hope was not on the list. We don’t consider Hope as powerful as Love, Happiness, Peace. Hope is a four letter word but has the power to move mountains and bend rivers. At times it is the only thing standing between life and death, HOPE! At times Hope is Life!
Nine sets of families sitting in the waiting lounges of nine different hospitals in nine different cities. All have palms joined, fingers crossed and eyes closed, praying hard. Praying hard and hoping for their loved one to wake up, to be healthy again, to be alive and kicking. But amongst those nine families, eight were hoping for the death of the ninth one. Unfortunately, the ninth family lost their loved one. He/she was declared brain dead. The family is devastated and begs the doctor to give them hope, a glimmer of hope that yes, there is a 0.001 percent hope of recovery, but they were disappointed. The ninth person passed away. And the prayer of the other eight was answered. I know it seems like a riddle, but it’s an actual incident.
“A brain-dead Bengaluru boy has given a new lease of life to eight people in New York. The decision of the Rajeev Naidu’s family to donate all his organs came after he was declared dead in Brooklyn Hospital Centre on Sunday, reported The Times of India.
According to TOI, the 24-year-old was admitted to the hospital with the lung infection on February 21 and was undergoing treatment under the care of his roommates. His family decided to donate his eyes, heart, pancreas, kidneys, oesophagus, liver and bone marrow.” (Source: The news minute)
Another such instance:
“Thota Manikanta will continue to live in eight others after his death. His vital organs are set to give a new life to patients at hospitals in Chennai, Hyderabad and Guntur.
Manikanta’s heart was transplanted into a patient in Chennai. His lungs went to another in the City. A patient in Hyderabad got his liver and two patients in Guntur his kidneys. His eyes offered a vision to two patients at Sankara Eye Hospitals, Guntur.” (Source: The Hindu)
This is the Gift Of Hope! I know many of you are revolted by the idea of organ donation. It seems barbaric and outrageous to maul our loved ones after they have departed this Earth. But when I thought about the eight families that got a new life, a life gifted by that one kind soul, I am overwhelmed. It’s a miracle. No, not the death of the donor, that was the saddest part, but the decision of he took and his family honoured.
Religion and society play a significant role in this whole concept. While in Hindu religion it is inauspicious to donate organs, the Buddhist say this is the right way to depart. My own Grand Aunt died shortly; she was a Hindu, her daughter in law adopted Buddhism. When my Grand Aunt died the daughter in law took the decision of organ donation, she was criticised and shunned by all. I was in them, I condemned her too, but not for the decision to donate. I condemned her because she did it against the wishes of the departed soul. The ethical and moral values play a great role in this decision.
In my mind’s eye I can see the scene as a video reel playing, one family lost all hope while other eight were thankful to that one person for his decision to donate his organs and save the lives of their kin.
Each year, thousands of people die while waiting for a transplant, because no suitable donor can be found for them. The need for organ donors has never been greater
Did you know In India every year nearly:
500,000 people die because of non-availability of organ
200,000 people die of liver disease
50,000 people die from heart disease
150,000 people await a kidney transplant, but only 5,000 get one
1,000,000 lakh people suffer from corneal blindness and await transplant
India’s traffic problem has often been the cause of many deaths, only because ambulances couldn’t get patients to hospitals in time, or worse, ambulances weren’t able to reach the accident spots on time. The same applies to organ transplants – hearts or other organs from brain dead patients sometimes have to be transported over long distances and often from other cities. Getting them to the patients who need them in time is vital to their survival.
A green corridor is a unique route, where all the street signals between the hospital where the organ is harvested and the hospital where it is to be transplanted are manually operated to avoid red signals. It takes lots of coordination between traffic police, and the situation is harder to manage during peak traffic hours. The organs most in demand are heart and liver.
I recently came to know personally about the Green Corridor, it was made for one of my close family friend(My aunt’s husband). The liver was brought from Jaipur to Delhi, and Green Corridors were made both in Jaipur, from hospital to the airport and in Delhi, from an airport to hospital covering the distance of hours into minutes. My aunt was overwhelmed by the idea, as it saved her husbands life. Isn’t it a perfect example of Hope as well?
I know it’s one of the toughest decision a person can take. And then except the medical, physical, financial and legal challenges there is another challenge, the emotional one. The challenge of not contacting and connecting with the recipient of the organ your loved one donated, because I know how much desperation there is to connect with the departed one more time. The Emotional Fingerprint as it is called is a more of a survivors dilemma than truth.
Death is inevitable, irrevocable and irreversible. Life, on the other hand, is full of possibilities and hope. It’s our responsibility to keep hope till our very last breath, and after that, we can still choose to give hope to the ones who need it. You can not give a better gift than the essence of Hope, the gift of Life.
You have now, the power in your hands, to save many lives. Or you can choose to burn or bury the organs.