‘It’s the duty of every recipient to spread awareness on organ donation’

Komal Pawar, a 27-year-old woman is the first person in Maharashtra who had undergone a heart-lung transplant in 2017. After her recovery, she decided to set-up an NGO for promoting the cause of organ donation. With the help of this organisation she aims to spread awareness on organ donation, a cause which is close to her heart

It’s the duty of every recipient to spread awareness on organ donation’
Komal Pawar

As part of My Medical Mantra’s #OrganDonation awareness month, we spoke to Komal who shares her journey from the organ transplants to the genesis of her NGO and her view on affordable organ transplant.

How was your journey for the past one year after getting a heart and lung transplant?

I was completely terrified, when I got to know that I will have to undergo heart and lung transplant. I didn’t know what to expect after the transplant surgery. As previously no one in Maharashtra had undergone simultaneous heart and lung transplant. I was shattered, but, I had made up my mind to accept the situation as it comes. I knew that I had to be strong.

It took almost a month for me to recover after the transplant surgery. Since then I am not facing any medical issues at all. I am taking medicines as advised by my doctors from on time to time.

A person who undergoes lung transplant needs particular exercise to build strength in lungs. So, walking, exercise and physiotherapy are part of my daily routine now. I feel as those who have undergone organ transplant, it’s our duty to spread the word about organ donation to the world.

Since you have undergone heart and lung transplant, how are you spreading an awareness about organ donation?

After I fully recovered, I have set up an NGO Komal New Life Foundation. And through this organisation, spread a word about #OrganDonation to the world. I want more and more people to join this noble cause which saves lives. In order to spread awareness and to make people understand the importance of organ donation, I have made a short film. The film expresses my struggle, fight, and agony which I faced.

I try and give my example to people and, try and convince them to pledge their support to the organ donation movement. I get calls from many people, from India and abroad, they have various doubts and questions. I make sure that their queries are answered.

According to you, what measures should be taken at the government level to promote the organ donation movement?

The government is doing their best to promote the organ donation campaign in the country. National Tissue Transplant Authority and State Tissue Transplant Authority are taking a keen interest in spreading the awareness. But, the government should recognise the sacrifice done by the donor family and should facilitate them. So, that more and more will come forward to donate organs.

Organ Donation-Month

What is your view on affordable transplant?

Organ transplant is very expensive. Common people can’t afford it. In Maharashtra, a patient gets monetary help through the Chief Ministers Medical Aid Fund. But the financial aid is not sufficient. Through Kolam New Life Foundation I help needy families to gather funds through crowdfunding. I wish everyone should donate their organs. There are lakhs of people who are on the waiting list for organ transplant.