Swati Krishna, a 16 year old, who underwent a liver transplant, facilitated by her aunt and aided by the contributions and prayers of thousands, has now come to symbolize faith and hope in our hearts. One miracle followed the other, as the story slowly unraveled. Swati’s liver was badly damaged by Jaundice. She needed a transplant in emergency. Her mother wished to donate. But, her health would not permit it. Her aunt Reiny stepped in, agreeing to donate a part of her own liver. But then, the law intervened. The Transplantation of Human Organs Rules stipulate various documents to be furnished before an authorization committee in case the donor is not a ‘near relative’. A ‘near relative’ includes only the spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, brother and sister. Evidently, Reiny was not a ‘near relative’ in the eye of the law. Swati’s parents struggled, but obtained the relevant documents, after much toil. The permission was to be granted by the Authorization Committee at Alappuzha. But, the next sitting of the said Committee was only to be held by the end of the month. Meanwhile, Swati’s situation aggravated and she lapsed into a coma. Only after much media attention, the government intervened and the case was taken up by the Authorization Committee at Kottayam on priority and the permission granted. The stage was thus set for the surgery.
It required huge expenses that a carpenter’s family could ill afford. It was now the turn of the Edakkattuvayal Panchayat and the M.K.M Higher Secondary School, Piravom to play their part. The Panchayat sprung into action. About 1000 people got together, spread into groups and collected about 17 lakhs within 12 hours. Contributions ranged from Fifty rupees to Fifty thousand. It was an amazing, unprecedented, collective effort. The School also made a significant contribution towards the expenses. By giving a part of her own body to her sick niece, Reiny touched chords of our hearts and set a good example. In appreciation, I’ve decided to donate an amount of five lakhs to her.
As Swati slowly recovered, came the heartening news that she had passed her Plus one exams, with distinction. She had conquered fate and her illness and emerged a winner. But, it’s the people who are the real winners. The Edakkattuvayal Panchayat has now embarked on an organ donation campaign and has requested me to be a part of it. It seems, a community has suddenly realized their strength, humaneness and collective potential and decided to pool in their abilities. Glad that the embers didn’t die out; it will glow on.
In hindsight, more than a year has passed since my kidney donation. There is increased awareness of organ donation and even more number of donations. Swati will continue to remind us of what we can do. Such instances restore our faith in humanity, goodness and in collective effort. Whatever be the circumstance, humaneness will ultimately prevail. All we need is compassion and a big heart.