In death, Bhupendra gives new lease of life to eight people
On March 27, 2022, while I was celebrating my birthday, this young man, Bhupendra was fighting between life and death. He had met with a tragic road accident where he was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. He had sustained serious head injuries and was declared brain dead later that night.
I was called into the hospital on March 28 to speak to the family for organ donation. I met the distraught father. Years into this work and having spoken to so many families, I still cannot understand where families gather the courage to agree to organ donation.
The father not only consented but also agreed to do the unenviable task of speaking to his wife who hadn't even been properly informed of Bhupendra's demise. Despite the sadness and tragedy that had befallen him and his family, the courageous man agreed to donate Bhupendra’s organs. He realised that, even though his kid was no longer living, he was in a position to help many others who were fighting for survival.
Bhupendra was born in Panchkula. A second-year Bachelor of Arts student at a Delhi-based open university, he had been working as a Dispatch Head in a private company for 4 years and had many dreams regarding his future life. His was a small close-knit family and he was the binding glue of the family and cared for everyone – the old and the young.
“Even though he was my younger brother, he behaved like an older one.”, says Ranjeet (Bhupendra's elder brother). “He would take responsibility for everything and be involved in every aspect of the house.” The morning of that fatal day, he had bathed and readied his old grandfather and the latter shared this as tears poured down the old man's wrinkled face.
Bhupendra was well-known for his compassion, and willingness to assist others. Mr. Harish Kumar, his father, said that he always placed himself to help others. He was a regular blood donor and had received a medal for the same. The mother weeping inconsolably shared, “He used to say, mummy we can get blood anytime we need as I have donated so many times. Alas, nothing helped save his life when the time came.”
A week later, when we went to visit the family at their home, this was what the father said to me, "I keep thinking what if I had gone to some other hospital and hadn't met you. I would have not been able to do this. I would have lost my son anyway and not had the opportunity to save the lives of others.” I remain overwhelmed and humbled - and I feel richer as I do after every such interaction with a donor family. The lungs were flown to Hyderabad, heart to Jaipur, kidneys, liver and corneas were transplanted to recipients in Delhi.
Role of police in Medico Legal Cases (MLC) Most organ donations come out of road accidents (brain death as a result of head injuries). These become what are called Medico Legal Cases (MLC) and the police gets involved and so does the forensic. Very often, we struggle to make donations happen in the given limited time as the police is unable to cooperate simply because they do not understand the process or their role in it.
In this donation, Inspector Hari Krishnan was so humane, sensitive and cooperative throughout, both with regards the processes and the family. The week after the donation, we met him at his police station to express our gratitude. He truly stands tall! (and not just because he is 6'3) Inspector Hari Krishan also pledged to be an organ donor. May his tribe grow.
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: Bhupendra, Road Traffic Accident, Organ Donation, Medico Legal Cases