Mumbai businessman Pradip Gandhi, 66, taught his children that every action of theirs must help give back to society. He lived by this and his family ensured he followed it even after his death by donating his organs, which added to the Diwali cheer of two families.
Gandhi was hospitalised on Saturday after he fell unconscious, which was later found to be due to bleeding in the brain. Doctors told the family it was too late to save him even if they were to perform surgery.
Gandhi’s son, Pranit, subsequently discussed the idea of cadaver donation with his family, which decided to donate his liver and kidneys. His skin was harvested to be used when needed.
Pranit said his mother, Jayshree, brother, Devang, and other family members agreed to the donation immediately. He added Gandhi wanted to donate his father’s body for research on Alzheimer’s but he could not do that.
The only condition the family had for doctors was not to perform the surgeries to harvest the organs until Devang arrived in Mumbai from the US. Devang arrived after Gandhi was declared brain-dead on Sunday.
Arpita Dwivedy, a critical care intensivist at Mumbai’s Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, said this was the first time she met a family which volunteered to donate the organs of a family member. “On examination, we found that his heart and lungs were not viable for transplanting,” she said.
She added doctors from the National Burns Centre in Navi Mumbai’s Airoli collected and harvested the skin while one of the kidneys was sent to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
Dwivedy said the liver was transplanted at Hiranandani Hospital on Monday to a 37-year-old man who suffered from cirrhosis for six months.
A 39-year-old woman, who first underwent a renal transplant in 2012 was the recipient of the kidney at Hiranandani Hospital. She was undergoing dialysis since 2019.
“…the quality of life of [the recipients] would improve due to the transplants… they will be rid of huge medical bills,” said Dwivedy. She added the Gandhis were the fourth family to discuss cadaver donation in two months but others backtracked at the last moment.
“Sometimes, families want to wait till the very last moment to take the decision by which time the organs may no longer be viable for harvesting or donating. Often the decision is made on religious grounds as well due to concerns regarding last rites.”