21 September 2010
By Prasad Kulkarni
When doctors pronounced Prakash Oswal’s wife, Vimala, brain dead, he took one of the most courageous steps he had ever taken. He decided to donate his wife’s organs and by doing so, helped save the lives of others.
Vimala had met with an accident at Shivajinagar in the second week of September. She was taken to a private hospital, where she was declared brain dead. "The accident and consequent condition of the patient shocked family members. But, despite the pain, the family consented to donating the organs," said Lalit Phulphagar, a relative who had appealed to the family to donate the organs.
Vimala was moved to the Command Hospital, where a team of doctors led by Brig K V Baliga and Brig D K Jain extracted both her kidneys.
One kidney was successfully transplanted into a serving junior commissioned officer of the army, who was on the waiting list for a kidney transplantation. The other kidney and eyes were given to a private hospital.
"Whatever has happened has been very painful but we feel gratified that Vimala proved helpful to society even after death," said Prakash’s brother Tejraj.
According to experts, such acts will inspire many. "Organ donation is a noble deed. But, in reality not many are willing to donate when the need arises. Even if a person wants to donate, his relatives may not agree after his death," said Colonel (Retd.)
Satnam Singh, executive director, National Kidney Foundation (India). "Donating to an unknown person is unusual. There is a need to create more awareness about such donations. The act of the Oswal family is inspirational," he added.
"Extracting organs from a brain-dead patient and successful transplantation into a needy, waiting patient of ‘end stage kidney disease’ is a tough job. This is the first time we had done such an operation at the Command Hospital, Pune." said Maj Gen S S Panwar, commandant of the hospital.
Kidney Diseases In India
- 100 million people succumb to kidney diseases every year
- 90,000 kidney transplants per year required in India
- Only 22.5% of patients requiring dialysis receive treatment
- Only 2.5% of patients with kidney failure receive transplants
- 10,000 kidney transplants per year are required in Maharashtra