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It was a felicitation function hosted by the Governor at the Raj Bhavan’s grand, chandelier-lit Darbar Hall.
Everything was perfect — the audience in their finest silks, eminent doctors in dapper suits and governor K. Rosaiah towering over them all in spotless white.
The guests of honour were however quiet and sad-faced, some of them breaking down and weeping as they went up on stage to be ‘felicitated’.
They were the 26 families who bravely and generously decided to pull the plug on their loved ones, so that their organs could save the lives of strangers they would never get to know or meet.
Like the family of 12 year old Gokula Priya , who came all the way from Namakkal to be part of the function, organised by the MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) Foundation.
The little girl suffered a head injury when she fell off her father’s bike one evening in February this year. When doctors at a Salem hospital pronounced her brain-dead and suggested organ donation, her parents consented, and brought their child, still breathing and warm, to a Chennai hospital so doctors could harvest her heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and corneas to be given to other critically ill patients.