Organs of a Arya Samaji Man in Udupi Gives Life to Needy Patients in Abu Dhabi
This is the story of how two kidneys and a liver born in Udupi to Arya Samaji reached several needy persons of Abu Dhabi. It is also the story of a surprise party gone awry, a family out to have a reunion and celebrate the patriarch’s 80th birthday due in May,2024, a few months earlier ended up grieving.
Sri Parkala Sudhakar Kamath and his spouse Ms. Sujatha Kamath were a happy couple with four daughters all happily married and also scattered all over the globe! Though they had lost their only son Suvineeth Kamath his widow Suhani was taking good care of them as affectionately as a daughter would. Their eldest daughter Supriya Kamath Veigas had taken them to Abu Dhabi to spend some quality time. The second daughter Sunaina Sawardekar is from Mumbai and the third Sushmita Bellare is from Bengaluru.
The youngest and his most favorite Sumedha was to come from Cambridge UK where she was working as an occupational therapist along with her husband Varun as a surprise. However, tragedy struck when Sudhakar Kamath who was already suffering from dementia choked and was found in an unconscious state. He was admitted to a hospital on an emergency basis and maintained on life support systems. However, despite all the efforts and the best of medical care, he went into a vegetative state of brain death.
While this came as a bolt from the blue for the family which was anticipating a great time together, the emergency care doctors tried their best which was not successful. The grieving family got into a huddle to debate on what is to be done. The grieving mother told her daughters if anything could be done to help the needy by donating his organs. All tearfully agreed to it and a communication was made to the hospital authorities. Since, there were no eligible recipients at Abu Dhabi announcements were made all over and the search for needy recipients began.
Though the family was very much in a state of anxiety and tension, they bore with it for the sake of helping humanity. Ultimately, several patients benefited from the organs- two children were transplanted the kidneys and the liver too was transplanted, perhaps for two as livers are sometimes shared between recipients. However, medical ethics do not permit publication of such specific details
Perhaps their convictions as Arya Samajis was a pillar of strength for this family, because that community as such do not have beliefs like rebirth or even perform ceremonies for the departed. Again, the women have an equal right to conduct the final rites. After that the family, if they desire, can have a Mitra bhojan(which translated loosely means a meal for friends). The family to thank all those who had helped the departed person had conducted one such at Udupi on the 26th November.
When asked about her late husband, the grieving partner of half a decade said “My late husband was a man who wanted to help others. All his life he has helped thousands of people, I thought even in the end he would like to do the same, so we decided to donate his organs. His organs, like him, are working round the clock to do what he loved to do-help others in need. Who can be more needy than those whose lives are at stake due to malfunctions of vital organs? I am happy that he lives on as his organs saving others lives”
So, this was how these organs which were nurtured all along at Udupi ended up in people at far away Abu Dhabi giving the light of life to totally unknown needy recipients. It is also a story of humanitarian considerations weighing over language, religion and geographical barriers. It is a tale of a family who even in their moment of grief decided to help humanity.
by Prof. Narendra Nayak
President, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations