Doctors treating Vilasrao Deshmukh are again searching for a liver donor after the ‘brain dead’ man who was going to be operated upon died before docs could carry out a transplant on him. Asked whether they were desperately looking for a liver, they said, “In a way, yes.”
The 67-year-old former Maharashtra chief minister had shown signs of improvement and been on and off the ventilator before being prepared for a transplant, the sources said. A 31 year-old driver who was declared brain dead after being hit by an ambulance on Saturday near Kovalam and was declared brain dead is going to be the unwitting donor. On the same day, Deshmukh’s case was flagged as a ‘super ultra-emergency’ by Global Hospitals.
Earlier, his son Riteish had showed a willingness to donate a part of his liver but the minister needed a whole liver. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra had tweeted “Instructed Gujarat’s health department to procure cadaver liver on top priority for Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is undergoing treatment.”
The 67-year-old minister, diagnosed with liver cancer, was flown to Chennai by an air ambulance last Tuesday. The driver’s family however had to be convinced who were unwilling to part with his organs. However, before his organs could be harvested the driver passed away.
Organ harvesting is not popular in India. Only 250 organs have been harvested in Tamil Nadu since September 2008. There’s usually a huge waiting list but the allotment rule is broken only when there is an emergency of a patient’s condition irreversibly going down rapidly. “This is the first time we have a VIP on the waitlist,” said a health department official.