Don’t take your organs to heaven
Heaven knows we need them here.
Everyday many people die because they do not have a donor to donate organs. Human body is useless after death. But donating the organs is a generous and worthwhile decision that can be a lifesaver. Organ donation is giving an organ to help someone who needs a transplant. Transplants save the lives of people.
Organs are harvested from accident victims who are brain dead. Brain death means death. This condition is called brain stem death – there is no activity in the brain stem due to severe brain injury. The person cannot breathe on his/her own. Brain death is irreversible and the person has no chance to recover. Most organ donations occur after the donor has died. But there are many living donors too. Living donors can donate a small section of liver, one kidney, a discarded bone from hip or knee replacement.
In India every year nearly 5,00,000 people die because of non-availability of organs. And 10,00,000 people suffer from corneal blindness and await transplant. India needs around 2,00,000 cornea donations every year. Yet only 50,000 are donated annually. Cornea should be harvested within 6 hours of death. The nearby eye bank should be informed immediately after death. The eyes of a dead person will be giving a new life to two blind people. Cataract patients cannot donate eyes as the cornea should be clear, transparent and healthy at the time of death. Removal of eyes does not disfigure the face.
India’s population is 1.2 billion, statistics show that only 0.34 person per million are organ donors. This is an incredibly small and insignificant number. The removal of organs will not interfere with customary funeral arrangements. A highly skilled team of doctors harvest the organs and the incisions are surgically closed with sutures. There will be no outward disfigurement. Only a scar will be seen.
The main reasons for people not making organ donation are lack of awareness and superstitions. Some think that the soul of a body cut open for organ donation will not reach the gates of heaven. And a few think that the donated organs may be sold in the black market. People should understand the value of organ donation. It is difficult to think of organ donation when you have just lost a loved one. But organ donation is a generous and worthwhile decision that can save many lives. One person’s eyes help two people to see and organ donation helps nearly eight people who are waiting to receive an organ for transplant.
All of us can be organ donors irrespective of caste, colour, religion, community and current or post medical condition. Here is a story of great sacrifice made by Dr.Vineet Kumar. Vineet’s mother met with an accident. She was hit by a drunk driver and had a tragic death. Being a doctor Vineeth knows the importance of organ donation. He has seen many people suffer as they wait for a donor. Vineeth took a decision which most of us would not even think about at that moment. Inspite of losing his loving mother he spoke to his family members and decided to donate his mother’s eyes. They have gifted vision to two blind people. It is a very big sacrifice made by the family at the most difficult and emotional period in their life.
The act of organ donation has the ability to comfort grieving families. Most donor families felt that it was the only positive outcome from their loss. All of us should sign up to donate. You will get a donor card. Tell your next of kin – wife/husband and children to donate your eyes and organs after your death.
Lakhs of people in India need organ transplants. But less than 1,000 transplants are performed every year. The rest die waiting for an organ. The value of anything is realized only when it is lost. When you are donating organs you are giving life to someone. Let us change someone’s life by donating.