Ganga Ram Trust chairman gives new life to 3 even in death

Ganga Ram Trust chairman gives new life to 3 even in death

He passed away at the age of 88 but even in his death he gave life to three people, all of them from poor economic background.

This is the story of chairperson of Sir Ganga Ram Trust Society Chairman Tej Ram, who passed away recently at the age of 88 years and donated his body organs to needy patients, giving them a new lease of life.

"It was his last wish to not just donate his organs but to give it to poor people. He had utmost concern for the poors and was always keen on doing the maximum for them," Secretary, Board of Trust Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH), A K Seth said.

Ram's daughter Vinita Chopra and son Vijay Ram readily agreed to fulfill his last wish and donated his organs to the hospital after his death on September 3, Seth said. The hospital retrieved his two kidneys and liver and successfully implanted them in three recipients, Seth said.

The liver gave new life to a 35 year old patient, a small-time businessman, suffering from liver failure due to hepatitis–C virus; and the kidneys have benefited two patients awaiting the organ transplant.

The recipient of one of Ram's kidneys is the wife of a peon of the hospital who was in dire need of the organ, and second one was from a lower middle class family, Seth said.

All patients are doing fine after the transplants, he said. Ram, who passed away due to brain hemorrhage on September 3, has become one of the oldest organ donor in the country. He was the grandson of great philanthropist late Sir Ganga Ram and was associated with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for last 27 years.

Though the Transplantation of Human Organ Act was passed in the country in 1994 yet the concept of brain dead and certification is a touchy issue among people, say doctors.

"The cases of organ failure in India are going to increase in the next 10-15 years due to large number of people suffering from diabetes, hypertension and end stage renal and liver diseases. Unless people come forward and government support and promote multi-organ harvesting from deceased (brain dead) donors, hapless millions cannot even hope to live," Dr D S Rana, Chairman Board of Management and Department of Nephrology SGRH, said.

"We been trying to sensitise patients and their families to the reality of brain death and to the fact that harvesting organs from cadavers can not only save lives but the organs of the deceased can be alive in another patients body," Rana said.

Our hospital has full fledged medical social workers to act as "Grief–Counsellor", to counsel the families of brain dead victims and to help them come to terms with organ donation, he said.

According to Dr Harsh Johri, Chairman Renal Transpalnt centre, the hospital has borne the cost of the transplant because of its firm commitment to promote the cause of cadaver transplant in India.

Currently there is a demand for 1,50,000 kidney transplants, 2,00,000 liver transplants and 1,50,000 heart transplants in the country, Jauhari said. "In India we are doing only 3,000 kidney transplants and 500 liver transplants a year because there are not enough donors. In Delhi alone there are 1,000 people waiting for organ transplant," he said.

According to a study by AIIMS, of the 1,40,000 lives lost in road accidents every year in India, 67 per cent deaths are due to head injuries. If organs can be retrieved from even ten per cent of these cadavers, the demand for organs in the country can be easily met, Jauhari said.