Juhi Pawar, donated 70 percent of her liver to her ailing father two years ago. Her father was a Hepatitis C patient and was battling for life while waiting for a cadaver liver donor. The Maharashtra government chose Juhi as its first brand ambassador to promote organ donation for the decision of being a live donor.
She recalled her decision to become a donor and said, "My father was battling for life. We found that we would have to wait for at least three years for a cadaver donor. He would not have survived. A live transplant was the only option. My mother's blood group did not match, nor did by elder brother's. None of our other relatives offered to help. But I had the same blood group."
Her mother, Kiran, said that both she and her husband, Ravindra Pawar, resisted the decision and they gave in only after the doctors assured that there was no risk to Juhi's life. "It took some convincing," said Juhi.
The transplant was done in July 2012. Juhi's father later died as he developed kidney complications.
"I am a living example to show that you can donate your organs and still lead a healthy life," said Juhi.
"We want to tell people that organ donation is a beautiful thing. The organ donation did not stop her from entering the Miss India contest within a year of the transplant. She was shortlisted in the top 80," said her mother.
Juhi is an MBBS student and plans to travel to conferences, hospitals and colleges, with state government officials, to sensitise people on organ donation.