BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals initiates an organ donation drive
Bengaluru, January 12, 2019: BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, in association with Jeevasarthakathe, organized an organ donation drive in Kengeri on 11th January 2019. The event also served as a platform to felicitate the family members of organ donors for their selfless act that allowed numerous lives to be saved. The occasion was graced by esteemed guests such as Dr Shamitha Malnad, renowned playback singer, Dr Kishore Phadke, Convenor, Jeevasarthakathe, Sri Pramod Laxman Mahajan, organ donation activist and Ms Shailaja Suresh, CEO, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Bengaluru. Families of numerous donors were welcomed and felicitated by the Chief Guests that included Dr Maharishi Ananda Guruji, renowned astrologer, Smt. Amulya, Cine artist and Mrs. Soumyalatha – DCP, Bangalore.
The event was chaired by Ms Shailaja Suresh who addressed the gathering on the objective of the Organ Donation Drive. This drive was initiated with the aim to encourage more people to come forward and pledge to donate their organs to help those in need of a transplant and to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation. Notably, all the dignitaries present at the event along with the audience took a pledge to join the noble cause. The hospital has also organised and arranged for a pledge counter, encouraging commoners to register for organ donation.
A moment of silence in remembrance of the deceased donors was followed by the felicitation of the family members of the donors. They were honored with mementos that were presented as a token of gratitude for the numerous lives saved through the act of organ donation.
The event also saw in attendance, organ recipients who came in to share their experiences. The case of Mr Raghuveer, the first Kannadiga citizen to receive a heart and two lungs in a single transplant, is an inspiring story. Raghuveer is a 26-year-old male residing in Mysore. In early 2018, he was diagnosed with bilateral bronchiectasis, a disease in which there is permanent enlargement of parts of the airways of the lung. He presented with complaints of breathlessness and limited activity. He was assessed as inpatient for pre-transplant evaluation and was advised by a multi-disciplinary team at Gleneagles Global Hospitals to undergo a combined heart and lung transplant.
The transplantation surgery took place in early November. His surgery was partially funded by the Government of Karnataka. This case is unique for many reasons. The transplant completely cured Raghuveer of his condition. He had a smooth recovery with no complications. He was also discharged in a record time of just 18 days. Raghuveer is now back home without any oxygen support and fully able to carry out day to day activities with no restriction. Stories like these go to show just how important the act of organ donation is.
The hospital also unveiled an ‘organ donation wall ‘displaying countless inspiring stories of donors and their families who opted for organ donation during one of the most difficult moments of their lives, thereby saving innumerable lives of terminally ill patients who were in desperate need of an organ.
Anybody can be an organ donor irrespective of their age, caste, religion, community etc. There is no defined age for donating organs. The decision to donate organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age. Tissues such as cornea, heart valves, skin, and bone can be donated in case of natural death but vital organs such as heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas can be donated only in the case of ‘brain death’. Organs such as the heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys and lungs can be transplanted to those recipients whose organs are failing because it allows many recipients to return to a normal lifestyle.
Dr Kishore Phadke, Convenor, Jeevasarthakathe addressed the audience “Today it is essential to encourage the larger masses and especially the youth to come forward and pledge to donate their organs in order to save lives. Many people fear the act of organ donation, as myths and misconceptions are rampant, dissuading them to consider it. Busting these myths and raising awareness is of foremost importance. We are excited to associate with Gleneagles Global Hospitals; a hospital that has been at the forefront of driving awareness in Bangalore on a number of issues including organ donation. ”
Pramod Laxman Mahajan, Organ Donation Activist commented “With the relentless ongoing efforts by various government bodies and hospitals, there has been an observable change in how today’s youth perceives organ donation. Many youngsters are taking interest in raising awareness and actively pledging to make a difference. In India, one of the biggest challenges facing organ donation is the numerous myths associated with cultural and religious beliefs that deter potential donors from making this decision. Donating organs can save up to 8 lives at one given time. All major religions support organ and tissue donation as an act of charity and goodwill.”
In Karnataka alone, lakhs of deaths occur every year due to non-availability of organs, end stage liver disease, chronic kidney disease, heart disease and the like. Many of these can be avoided with the availability of organs.
Ms Shailaja Suresh, CEO, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Bangalore added “We have always been committed to the cause of organ donation. Every day we come across terminally ill patients with chronic diseases that can be saved with organ transplantation or trauma patients who may not survive a few hours without a new organ. Our hospital and the team of expert doctors have carried out multiple organ transplantations over the years. This would not have been possible without the kindness of numerous cadaver and living organ donors”