This heartwarming incident comes to us from India.
A couple of years back, a doctor couple based in Amravati, Umesh and AshwiniSawarkar lost their 3-month-old daughter Meera. This incident happened when they were returning from a function when a speeding car rammed into their vehicle and severely injured Ashwini and Meera who was sitting in the backseat.
Umesh had to rush his wife to a nearby hospital and other voluntary good Samaritans took Meera to a pediatric hospital. A CT scan done at the pediatric hospital showed that Meera had suffered from a brain hemorrhage. Though the doctors did the best they could, the extensive injuries to the child’s brain meant that Meera was now brain dead.
Umesh spoke to Ashwini who was recovering from a pelvic fracture and she advised him to go for organ donation of their child. The couple was informed by authorities that the rules of infant organ donation were quite ambiguous and there was a dearth of experts who could grant someone as young as Meera the certification that she was brain dead.
The couple had to fight mounting odds and delays and finally managed to get all the approvals required and this took them 4 days. A green corridor was set up and Meera’s organs had found two pediatric matches on the list. However, just 4 hours before the ambulance to pick Meera’s organs could arrive the 3-month-old baby suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away.
Even though the pain of not being able to donate their daughter’s organs continues to twist a knife in the hearts of the young couple, they have decided to make their late daughter’s birthday special by funding the open heart surgery of an underprivileged 4 year old child.
Ashwini and Umesh had spent 3 months searching for children eligible for surgery and they came across four and a half-year-old Payal Parate and five-year-old Aswashil Dhawale. Payal happens to be the daughter of a daily wage earner and Aswashil is the son of a farmer. Both the children come from underprivileged tribal villages.
On the day of the surgery, Aswashil got the clearance from the government regarding funding for his operation. Payel was not covered by any government scheme. She had been diagnosed with a hole in the heart. On the day of the surgery, the doctor couple made arrangements to transport Payal and her family. They were assisted to get Payal to the Amravati based ShriSantAcchyutMaharaj Heart Hospital on the day of the surgery.
There were a pediatric cardiac surgeon and an anesthesiologist who traveled from Aurangabad in order to carry out the surgery. Though average hospital charges are around Rs 1.25 lakh for the open-heart procedure, the total cost of the operation at the charity hospital was Rs 80,000 which Umesh and Ashwini paid. As he signs off, Umesh says.” Nobody can fill Meera’s void in our lives, but the smile on the faces of the children who endlessly wait for a stronger heart helps us to deal with the pain of losing our daughter. I want to tell people that they shouldn’t wait for a tragedy to strike to help. Sign up for organ donation and help give life to people in dire need of it.”
Image source: The Better India