Gifting Life: The Legacy of Organ Donation


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Do you have the answer to the above? Doing something for others doesn’t always mean showering them with gifts or money; it can be the love you share or the chance at life you can offer.

The best and ultimate thing you would gift is life. The best way to do it is through organ donation!

World Organ Donation Day is observed on the 13th of August. On this eve, let us explore various aspects of organ donation. 

Historical Snippet

During World War Two, there were many burn victims. Dr. Murray was working on skin grafting, a surgical procedure in which the skin from the unburnt area is transplanted into the burnt area. But Dr. Murray experienced difficulty finding enough skin required for the transplant from the same individual. 

That is when he thought about using the skin of a deceased person on an alive victim with around 70% burns. But he found that the body of the victim rejected the skin. He also found that skin rejection was not observed when the skin used was from the twin. 

This finding had a significant impact on revolutionizing organ transplants. It was around 1954 when kidney transplants were failing because of the rejections by the body. Dr. Murray then suggested that a transplant between twins wouldn’t face rejection, drawing insights from his skin grafting research. It was the beginning of successful organ transplantation. The first successful kidney transplant was done between the twins in 1954.

Organs that you can donate

Click on the below image to know more!

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Oldest donor – The title of the oldest donor goes to a 107-year-old woman from Scotland who, in 2016, donated her corneas posthumously. 

Youngest donor –  The youngest organ donor is Hope Lee of Newmarket, UK, who donated her kidneys and liver cells just 74 minutes after she was born on 24th November 2015. 

Organ Donation Stats

The above stats are from the Indian national organ and tissue donation organization. It shows a positive increase in organ transplants in 2022. But the requirement fails to meet the number of people waiting on the list for the transplant. It is said that one person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes in India. 

Experts highlight a concerning gap: of the 2 lakh kidney transplants needed annually, only 10 thousand are performed. This gap must be bridged to save countless lives. 

As World Organ Donation Day approaches, let’s pledge to donate our organs and gift life to those in need.


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