82 Year Old Saves Life Of A Liver Failure Patient Making Him The Oldest Cadaver Organ Donor In Mumbai

Organ donation is still a very alien concept in India. Through organ transplantation, it can give thousands of children and adults a chance to live full and active lives. However, in India the need is far greater than the availability as lot of superstition is still associated with it. 

Just to commit oneself to be an organ donor is a generous decision in itself. This act can save the lives of up to eight individuals, and even more if a donor can give corneas and tissue. Almost anyone, regardless of age, race or gender, can become an organ and tissue donor, and there are no costs involved.

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This makes our protagonist, an unnamed 82 year old retd. government employee no less than a hero. On September 12, this gentleman suffered a bad fall in his house. He was immediately admitted to Jupiter Hospital. After a number of tests it was revealed that he had a massive brain bleed. Sadly, on September 15th he was declared brain dead.

The retd. official was always very keen on donating his organs, he always expressed his desire to donate his organs if an opportunity ever arose. He even pledged his body for medical research eight years back. To adhere to his death wish his family agreed on donating his organs. "After about 48 hours of hospitalization, it became clear his condition may not improve. That's when we inquired with the doctors if his organs could be donated," said his daughter-in-law to India Times, she is a doctor herself.

After a thorough check-up Dr Somnath Chattopadhyay -transplant surgeon at Jupiter- found the donor's organs healthy and fit enough to be donated to patients in need. "World over, it has been found that if elderly people don't have comorbidities like diabetes or blood pressure, their organs function like a donor of any other age," he said.

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On 17th September the octogenarian became the oldest cadaver organ donor in the city and, may be even in the state. The Thane family's (who chose to remain anonymous) decision to donate the organs of their father saved the life of an end-stage liver failure patient.The 58-year-old recipient, who was registered for a cadaver liver just some months ago, is recovering well and is already out of ventilator support.

“They had given consent for all organs, but only his liver could be retrieved. We couldn’t find a match for kidneys as prospective recipients were reluctant to undergo a major surgery during Ganpati festival,” Dr. Chattopadhyay said, adding the only patient who willing was unfortunately suffering from an ear infection, so couldn’t undergo the surgery. The 82-year-old’s skin, too, was donated. 

Transplant coordinator, Aniruddha Kulkarni said the family didn't need much push as there pretty keen on organ donation. The family was glad to do their bit in promoting organ donation program, that has so far contributed in 116 life-saving transplants in 2018. For Jupiter Hospital it was its third, it had played an important role in facilitating earlier donations from two octogenarians in 2017 and 2014 and it marked the city's 39th donation of the year.

Organ donation is not only about helping someone stay alive but along with giving life to that someone, you keep a part of your near and dear alive too. I hope more and more people chose to be organ donors.

Picture Source: ufmcpueblo.com; NDTV; Penn Medicine

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