Monthly Archives: February 2023

BBC News. Organ donation: ‘My daughter was shot but lives on in those she saved’

By Harry Low (BBC News reporter)

After the fatal shooting of a six-year-old girl in India last year, her parents made a choice few in the country do – donating her organs. Despite being expected to surpass China this year as the world’s most populous nation, India is 62nd in the global donation league table. The BBC travelled to Rome, where a campaign sparked three decades ago by another child’s gun death could show how progress can be made.

Link to the complete article: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-62987703

BBC Article - Harry Low - January 2023

Rolly Prajapati was sleeping peacefully last April in the home she shared with her five brothers and sisters in suburban Delhi. In the next room, her parents were preparing dinner when they heard a loud bang and a scream.

When they went into the room, Rolly cried out for her parents before falling unconscious. […..]

After days of agonising, her parents made a decision few in India have done before: to donate her organs. Rolly became the youngest donor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. […..]

“Eventually we decided to go ahead, thinking ‘if my daughter’s organs could save someone’s life, then we should do it’. “We think that our daughter is alive inside the young recipients – our daughter will live on this way.”

Both of Rolly’s kidneys were transplanted to Dev Upadhyaya, 14, whose parents told the BBC it was “a miracle to us” that he received the organs. They had been waiting four years for a transplant and said their “life has been changed” because Rolly’s kidneys had “given new life” to Dev. […..]

Rolly’s death has parallels with the story of Nicholas Green.

The seven-year-old was on holiday in Italy with his family in September 1994 when the car he was travelling in was shot at in a suspected case of mistaken identity.

His parents, Maggie and Reg, made the decision to donate Nicholas’s organs. Reg has dedicated much of his life since to a campaign to encourage more organ donation. […..]

L’effetto Nicholas – the Nicholas effect – is clear to see. The hope is that a similar transformation will take place in India.

At the forefront of this is Dr Deepak Gupta, who has travelled to Rome to meet Reg and other experts from the organ donation community. It was Dr Gupta who first spoke about the option of organ donation to Rolly’s parents – they, like many in the country, had never heard of it. He used Nicholas’s example to show Mr Prajapati, the possible impact of donating. One person dies in India from a head injury every three minutes, according to the Lancet Neurology Commission, and so, Dr Gupta says, there is “a lot of potential for donors”

BBC Article - Harry Low - January 2023 - 3

Each time Reg, 94, returns to Italy from his home in Los Angeles, he meets some of Nicholas’s recipients – on this trip, he met two women bound together by the transformative effect of donation.

Shana Parisella’s brother Davide was killed in a car crash in March 2013, and his heart was transplanted to Anna Iaquinta. Nine years after the operation, Anna decided to search for her donor’s family and formed a strong bond with Shana, who she says is like a sister to her.

Shana, who has driven 140 km. from Fondi to Rome, said it was a dream to meet a “great man” who was “an example for everyone”.

Anna said: “It’s not easy for the person that receives the heart because you have a lot of thoughts and you kind of feel bad because on their side there’s a lot of pain. But on your side there’s a lot of joy, so it’s kind of like two different emotions.” […..] “Nothing will ever be enough for having received life.” […..]

After visiting Rome, Reg travelled to Messina where he met 24-year-old Nicholas, the son of Maria Pia Pedala who was in a coma when she received Nicholas’s liver 29 years ago. He says he will only stop speaking about the issue when he dies. “I’m 94 years old so I was quite old when I started this,” he told the BBC.

“I think by now I would have hung up my tonsils but the thought that just by talking you can save lives has been a thought that motivates me every day.”

 

Link to the complete article: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-62987703

Twitter BBC: https://twitter.com/BBCWorld/status/1620237444250468352

Twitter Harry Low: https://twitter.com/harrylow49/status/1620924625957060608 

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