In a state otherwise polarised along communal lines, two families, one Hindu and the other Muslim, came together to help each other through kidney donation.
Interestingly, they turned to each other after failing to
find a live donor among their own family members.
Mayur Gandhi, a businessman from Vadodara, had been waiting for a kidney that matched his blood group.
"I needed a kidney that was from a person of B-positive blood
group. My wife, Jayshree, was willing to donate her kidney but that was of no use to me because her blood group is A-negative," said Gandhi.
He said that it was then that the officials of the IKDRC Hospital told them about a patient, Irfan Sindhiya, who was looking for a donor from A-negative blood group.
Irfan’s mother happened to be B-positive and was willing to donate a kidney for her son but, unfortunately, that would have been of no use to him.
"The hospital authorities suggested a swap and we agreed,” said
Gandhi. When asked if he was worried about getting a kidney from a Muslim, Gandhi said religion is man-made, but the body is made by God.
“In God’s factory when a body is made, he does not label it Hindu
or Muslim. That label is given by us,” said Gandhi.
"Later we came to know of Hindu families with the same blood group willing to swap kidneys with us, but we did not opt for it. It would have been cruel. The Muslim family already had its hopes high and we were not willing to backtrack,” said Gandhi.
Thus, Jayshree gave a kidney to Irfan Sindhiya, while the latter’s mother, Zubeida, gave her kidney to Mayur. The families are now friends and Mayur and wife even attended Irfan’s marriage.
"Zubeida is now like a sister to me,” said Mayur. Both Mayur and Irfan are now doing well.
Dr HL Trivedi, director of IKDRC, said that the religion and caste of a patient is not important. "The most important thing is to do everything possible to save their life. In this case, they got registered in the waiting list. After they were unable to find a matching live donor within the family, the doctors counselled
them about the possibility of a kidney swap," said Dr Trivedi.
He added that of all the transplants done at the hospital, few involve such ‘religious’ swaps.
Irfan, 24, said he has got a new lease of life, all thanks to Jayshree.
"When you are staring at death, the last thing on your mind is the religion of your saviour," said Irfan when asked if he had problems accepting the kidney of a Hindu woman.
"Had it not been for Jayshreeben, I know my life would not have been what it is now,” he said.
Dr Vivek Kute, assistant professor at IKDRC, who also attended to
the two patients, said it is a myth that people bother about religion
when it comes to organ donation.
"When it is a matter of life and death, religion is the last thing on
your mind," said Dr Kute.