The Purity of Organ Transplantation

The first time I had to co-ordinate an organ transplant was genuinely one of the most stressful days of my life. I was brand new on the job and none of my previous experiences as psychology student had prepared me for the massive surge of emotions and urgency that run through hospitals and the teams involved with transplant co-ordination. And yet, this isn’t about what coordinators do. This is about the donors, without whom organ transplants would be a fantastic dream probably in a science fiction story.

Imagine facing one of the worst moments of your life-the death of a loved one. These are times which are so traumatic and horrific that our minds shut down if we even start to contemplate them. And in those times, imagine strangers who approach you, with regret in their eyes, an apology on their lips and infinite gratitude in their heart for the momentous decision they are about to lay at your feet- donating the organs of your loved one; usually even before you have begun to process their passing.

Donors have raged at counsellors and doctors alike for even daring to suggest that the ones they love be cut up. They are too heartbroken to even consider that the recipients themselves are of broken down and ailing bodies. All that they keep thinking is, “How can I do this? How can I allow this to happen to my child? Spouse? Parent?” “How can I allow the pieces of their bodies to be cut up and spread out amongst strangers?” The very idea is too fantastic to fathom! “You want his heart?”, “You want her eyes?”, “You want the skin too….hat will be left for us when we set eyes on them for the last time?”

And yet, not one, not two but close to one hundred thousand organ transplants happen globally every year. And while there are millions who still await this precious gift of life, the courage and compassion shown by the donor families ends up impacting millions more. For everyone whose life is saved, is loved by many. Their lives are made better because this one person lived. The outpouring of love and goodwill that results from this generous act of kindness from a bereaved individual surely goes a long way in keeping a cosmic balance intact.

Giving life is truly a life-altering experience. My life has never been the same since I became a mother. And while the idea of death does unsettle me at times, I hope when my time comes, my loved ones can think beyond the life I lived with them and help save as many lives as possible by
donating my organs.

– Ayanti Reddy