Interview-Siddesh Ashok Mali

Interview-Siddesh Ashok Mali

Interview-Siddesh Ashok Mali
Name of the donor: Siddesh Ashok Mali.
Age at the time of death: 17 years
Donor Family: Mrs. Vasanti Mali (mother) and
Mr. Ashok Mali (father)
Background: Siddesh was hit at the back of his head and after that he was taken to Kashinath Patil Hospital at Bhiwandi. Siddesh was not riding the motor-cycle, he was a pillion rider at the time of accident. His parents gave the consent to give away his organs.
What happened that day?
My son Siddesh was on the way back from Khadavli with his friend, travelling on a bike. He was sitting behind the bike, and they met up with an accident that afternoon. He was first put up in Kashinath Patil Hospital at Bhiwandi, but as there were not many facilities to treat him there, he was moved to Jupiter Hospital – Thane that evening.
How was the news broken to you?
The doctors tried everything to save my child. After two days, the doctor explained that the chances of saving my son were very low. He was not responding to any treatment and the test results showed that he was brain dead. He said there was nothing much they could do to save him.
How were you approached to donate?
Anirudha Kulkarni, the transplant coordinator from the hospital, was the first person to approach us to explain the meaning of brain death and cadaver organ donation. He helped us to understand what organ donation means, its importance and how we could save the lives of people who are on their deathbeds by donating our son’s organs. He asked to think and consider the option of donating Siddesh’s organs. My husband and I felt that it was a noble cause and would give our son an opportunity to live his life through others. We agreed to the donation as we thought it was the right thing to do.
We felt that we could help someone else live and do something good for others, then we should do it. My husband was the one who took this decision and we all supported it.

What was the process that the hospital followed before declaring your son brain dead?
As per the government regulations, Apnea tests were done with a gap of 6 hours. Only when these tests came positive, the team of four doctors (Treating Physician, Neurologist, Cardio-vascular and Intensivist) declared him as brain dead. The transplant coordinators at the hospital helped us fill forms 6 and 7 (willingness of family) and form 8 (declaration of brain stem death), signed by authorities treating the patient. Moreover, the coordinators also helped us interact with the police to get their NOC.
What was the process that you had to go through once you took the decision?
All the paperwork and process were handled by my husband. He, along with the local Nagarsevak, went through the entire procedure, got the NOC from the police and gave the relevant consent to the hospital to retrieve organs from my son’s body.
Do you think at this time of deciding and signing the papers, there could be anything done by the hospitals or the authorities that could make the process easier for you?
No, everthing was smooth. In fact, the transplant coordinators were extremely helpful in making us cope with our loss as well as with all the procedures.
Did you have any apprehensions about donating the organs?
Absolutely not. We wanted to do the right thing and there was no apprehension from our side. In fact, we could have done more if there was a chance for us to do so.
Were there any organs you did not want to donate? (If yes) What were your reasons for that?
No, we did not have any such wish. We wanted to help as many people as possible.
In retrospect, do you think you would have done anything differently?
No. We did the right thing and we are glad that we could do so.
Losing a member of the family is always difficult; what are the memories most dear to you that you would like to share?
We miss him a lot, almost every moment of every day. He was naughty and very stubborn about his wants and needs. He was a teenager and we pampered him a lot just like any parent would.
Were you informed who the recipients of the organs were? Do you feel it is better to know?
No, we do not know who the recipients of my son’s organs were. We did our part of giving away his organs to help. All we hope that it did help someone somewhere.
What is the main feeling you are left with?
We feel that everyone should pledge their organs. I never knew about cadaver organ donation till my son’s death. Burning a body is of no use to anyone. There are so many lives we can save, people we can help recover from their illness with a simple act of giving. People should think about this, and there is a big need for promoting this cause through television and all other forms of media. I wonder why people don’t do this and why is there such a situation in our country.
It’s sad that people do not think like this. I am glad that I came to know about this after my son’s death. I only realised this when I met the transplant coordinator. Wish I had known about this cause earlier.
How do you keep his/her memory alive? Do you and the family have a way to remember him/her together?
I cook his favourite food every day and feed the birds early morning. I feed needy people in his memory. There is a place called Talasari where Adivasi children live. I regularly donate and take care of their meals there.
Did anyone have any issues about you giving your sons organs away? How did you deal with this?
Yes, we had a number of people who alleged that we had “sold”our sons organs and made money.
We always believed in doing the right thing. We were responsible for our child, we brought him into this world and we raised him. We never really care what society thinks, and in fact, we are keen to spread the word about doing this good cause.
How do you promote organ donation now?
We regularly attend all events to promote the cause. Although I am shy of public speaking, I do talk to people on a personal level to further the cause of cadaver organ donation.