Transplant patients meet donor families
By QISHIN TARIQ | THE STAR
KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time, organ transplant patients were brought together with families of donors at the National Heart Institute – to say thank you.
It was an emotional moment as organ recipients thanked the families for their new lease of life in the programme called Bicara Hati.
The first such event in Malaysia, it was a collaboration between the institute, Health Ministry, National Transplant Resource Centre and the Kuala Lumpur Hospital to give the organ recipients a chance to thank the donors’ families.
It was also the climax to the Organ Donation Awareness Week that ends today.
Centre head Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor offered both her condolences to the organ donors’ families as well as her gratitude for their generosity.
R. Kumar, 49, and A. Susila 45, lost their daughter, K. Hemala, to a sudden attack of asphyxiation two years ago.
Hemala, 24, had just signed up for nursing school.
“She always wanted to become a nurse and help others.
“In a way, she still managed to save lives,” said Kumar.
Their relatives objected their decision, but the couple stood by it.
“My daughter told us that we should donate our organs so we could help others, even in death,” said Susila.
Tan Geek Koon, 42, an organ recipient, said she had previously not registered to be an organ donor due to her religious beliefs, but all that changed when she received a new heart from a 17-year-old donor.
“I was so ashamed when I received my heart.
“It made me realise the error of my ways,” she said.
Another young donor was 21-year-old Mah Wai Ken.
His mother Loh Siew Chin, 52, said Mah was coming home from work when the car he was in crashed into a street lamp.
He was pronounced brain dead upon arrival at the hospital.
Loh chose to donate her son’s organs, saying “only the spirit will travel, the body can do more help on earth.”
Shazwani Alias, 23, was only 10 when she was diagnosed with kidney failure.
Due to her condition, she spent most of her time going in and out of the hospital.
“I didn’t have a life as a teenager,” said Shazwani.
In 2004, she received a kidney and has since got her life back on track, recently graduating from college where she studied information technology.