I called up Ms Tee Hui Yee's father last week to find out about her latest development. Mr Tee said that she is much better now compared to a few weeks back when the infection has taken a toll on her. However, there is still no break thru on the news of the heart donor.
Since last September 2006, Hui Yi has been warded at the Institute Jantung Negara (IJN). She is surviving on an external battery operated Mechanical Heart device to keep her heart pumping. And that equipment is supposed to last for two years which means Hui Yi is racing against time.
Her name is on the top of the waiting list for an operation to take place to replace her heart. But according to Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor, the co-ordinator to the National Transplant Resource Centre, there has been no heart transplant operation this year.
The first successful heart transplant in the country was done 10 years ago. Since then, there were 65 heart patients on the waiting list for suitable heart donors out of which 33 of them had lost the battle half way thru. Why are so few heart donors despite extensive awareness campaign on Organ Donation ? This question baffled me all the time.
I read about organ donation, especially the heart transplant information over the internet very often. Trying to find a way to help Tee Hui Yi, or rather, to discover possible "miracles" with the hope that luck is on my side. From there, I have learnt that doctors only harvest organs that are free of drugs from the desired donors. Ironically, willing donors are normally patients who are drowned with high doses of prescribed drugs before they die.
In other words, hospitals and doctors are pleading with families of brain-dead accident victims to donate the organs of their loved ones. Transplant of the main organs like the heart, liver and kidney can only be carried out from brain-dead donors.
There are healthy people who have healthy organs dying from accidents everyday in Malaysia, and there are also people dying while waiting for suitable organ donors. Can the authorities please take some real and effective measures to bridge this 'gift of life' gap and help those in need of organ transplant?
This is the form to sign up for organ donation in Malaysia:
or you can log in HERE to print out one.
ORGAN DONATION, THE GIFT OF LIFE