New Delhi: The late father of an Indian Army officer has become the first person to donate his liver in the history of Armed Forces Medical Service.
Major S.K. Singh of the Regiment of Artillery agreed to the donation after his 72-year-old father P.N. Singh was declared brain dead at the premier Army Hospital (Research & Referral) here following a massive stroke, a defence ministry statement said.
The elder Singh was suffering from diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney failure. As there was no suitable recipient in Delhi, the liver was flown to Hyderabad and successfully transplanted on a 45-year-old suffering from end-stage liver disease, the statement said.
'Unlike in the West, where organ donation after death is a common practice, the majority of livers transplanted in India are taken from relatives who donate half the organ, often with considerable risks,' it said.
Since the cadaver organ donation rate in India stands at a dismal 0.5 per million population against over 30 per million in the West, the armed forces have launched an awareness campaign and are encouraging relatives to donate organs once brain death occurs.
Praising the unprecedented gesture of Maj. Singh, Lt. Gen. L.P. Sadhotra, Director General Medical Services (Army), said: 'Such selfless acts are typical of armed forces personnel and would serve as an inspiration to others.'