Thursday , 25 April 2019

Life beyond death

This April a brain dead donor from Goa gave a new lease of life to patients awaiting organ transplants. As a token of gratitude, the donor’s family was felicitated yesterday at a programme. NT BUZZ gets the details


The need for donor organs is known to all, but a very few know that organ donation has two forms: cadaver donation – where the donor is brain dead; and that of living donors. Goa got its first cadaver donor, when B Sadashiv Rao, of Vasco was declared brain dead at a Dona-Paula hospital, and his family decided to donate his organs for those in need.

Rao was admitted to the hospital after a brain stroke and declared brain dead at a Dona-Paula hospital at 11 p.m. on April 5. His kidneys, liver and corneas, were harvested for the transplant. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter who decided to donate his organs. His wife, Seema says, “My children came to me and said they wanted to donate his organs. It took me some time to come to a decision but since my husband was always a helpful person, who would go out of his way to help someone, we thought that donating his organs would be a great way to help another person, thus keeping his spirit alive.” Though it was difficult initially, for the family to decide, the thought of their father giving life to someone else and that he would be living through another human being made them go ahead.

His daughter, Shreya says when she was in Class 9, the school had an awareness programme on eye donation and thus she was aware about the procedure. “I was very keen on donating my eyes so I took a form and spoke to dad about it, his signature and his consent was needed. He was happy and he signed it,” she recalls.

Shreya, who believes that end is just a beginning, says: “It was the end of my father’s journey but by donating his organs we gave someone a new life, a new start and a new beginning and the satisfaction that my father still lives through someone is keeping me and my family going.”

And just like many of us may believe certain myths about organ donation, Shreya too had some misconceptions. She says: “There are many myths about donating organs. One was that donating organs leaves the body of the deceased disfigured. I thought because the person is dead, they do not take much care about the appearance of the body, but it is nothing like that, a special team of doctors are called and they do a really good job. The body is intact, just like a normal operation.”

Since they are the first Goan family to donate a brain dead patient’s organs, Shreya says they came across many people who now say they want to donate. She also feels that the system needs to be changed and instead of debating about whether to donate for a Goan or a non-Goan, the main focus should be on giving someone a second chance at life.

Giving a message to the people, Shreya says: “I think it has to come from within that once you are gone, you are gone, so why not donate and give someone else life. We all come into this world to make a change so why not make a change when you go?”

The family was felicitated at the organ donation awareness programme at the Dempo College of Commerce, Cujira.

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