It all began in year 2008, when a doctor-couple decided to donate their 15-year-old son’s all functioning organs, after doctors declared him brain dead following his motorbike accident at the outskirt of Chennai. The organ donation took a new leash of life in the state. The incident turned as an eye-opener for many, has witness drastic increase in number of organ donations lately and moreover the films (Traffic and Chennaiyil Oru Naal) made on this real-life incident has taken a step further enhanced the level of awareness on it.
There are number of movie made for entertainment but only few film releases on social concern, like Traffic and CON that communicate the struggle of transplanting heart, not by surgery but transporting in time. Unlike any other organs, heart can’t keep for more than 30 minutes after it has been removed from the body. But in case of Hithendran - the only son of the doctor-couple, the donor and recipient being part of different hospitals within Chennai at 45 minutes driving distance (considering the number of volume in traffic at city) the heart reached the hospital in astonishing 11 minutes.
The challenge in transporting the heart has been commissioned by the city traffic police; diverted the other vehicles on the route and turned all the traffic signals green. As a result, the heart reaching on time and saved the life of a nine-year old girl, who was being treated in a private hospital in Chennai as recipient of heart. This is a system practiced by the Chennai City Traffic Police, called Green Corridor. Apart its precious help in transporting heart, Chennai has a reason for patients seeking treatment for heart because of the condition that the government machinery is highly efficient here.
In fact the Tamil Nadu government has the most streamlined transplant programmers in the country, by making the organ donation process transparent and setting up stringent rules for private hospitals, has drastically brought down the instances of organ trafficking in the state. From October 2008 to April 2013, 55 hearts and 362 heart valves have been donated and transplanted in the state. 18 lungs, 310 livers and 623 kidneys have also been donated and subsequently transplanted, in addition of 526 corneas and a case of skin donation.
The heart transplantation is usually done on patients whose life expectancy is seven days to a few months in a priority recipient, who is below age of 60 to maintain a maximum survival benefit and improvement in quality of life. The donor and recipient should also match with blood group and size of heart and even after surgery, the patient have to be on medication life long, so that the body doesn’t reject the new organ. But with certain patients, the rejection comes down after two-three years of surgery to reduce medicines.
Heart is one of the precious organs on body and source of living; and to donate, one really needs a heart in itself. Being a doctor couple, the Hithendran parents understood the wealth of life and it is not an easy decision to take anyone but their sacrifice has inspired and impressed a lot alike. It’s so good to see the awareness of organ donate taking a deep root into our heart and lives. Thanks to those realized the worth of life and spread the message through media, which has greater responsibility where people watch it closely. It seems taking care of our health does not only help us sustain but by donating we live beyond death supporting someone to survive.