First ever organ donor Sarah Islam will be remembered

Sarah Islam.

Whenever the issue of organ transplant comes up, people will instantly recall the name of Sarah Islam. From her deathbed, 20-years-old Sarah had told her mother about her wish to donate her organs to others.

The country’s physicians have transplanted both of her kidneys and two corneas on four different people.

With this, physicians of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and private organisation Kidney Foundation have first transplanted organs of a person, declared ‘brain dead’.

Marking the first ever surgery of this sort in the country, a press conference was organised at BSMMU on Thursday afternoon. Apart from the physicians of those two organisations, Sarah Islam’s mother Shabnam Sultana was present there.

During the press conference Shabnam Sultana said, “Sarah truly was a divine child. Wherever she went, she enchanted everyone with her behaviour.  She had said, ‘Ma, you can donate everything of me for research.’ Sarah wished for her brain to be used in research.”

BSMMU vice-chancellor Md Sharfuddin Ahmed said Sarah was diagnosed with incurable disease tuberous sclerosis at the age of just 10 months. She had been battling the disease for 19 long years.

Marking the first ever surgery of this sort in the country, a press conference was organised at BSMMU on Thursday afternoon.
Prothom Alo

She had a surgery in her brain recently at a private hospital. She was admitted to BSMMU on 13 January.

Physicians declared Sarah ‘brain dead’ at 6.00pm on Wednesday. The surgery began around 10.30pm. Physicians first removed both of her two kidneys and two corneas.

One of the kidneys has been transplanted in the body of a kidney patient at BSMMU. The other kidney was taken to Kidney Foundation from BSMMU and was transplanted in a woman’s body there.

Besides, both of Sarah’s corneas were transplanted in the eyes of two people Thursday. One of their surgeries was done at BSMMU, while the other was operated at Shondhani Eye Hospital.

Till now, kidney transplants have happened between close relatives in the country. But, kidney of a close relative isn’t always available. For several years, specialist physicians have been talking about transplanting kidneys of a person with no hope of survival.

There are procedures and laws for these types of issues. It was claimed from the press conference that BSMMU and Kidney Foundation authorities have transplanted Sarah Islam’s kidneys and corneas, following all of those.

At the end of his speech, BSMMU vice-chancellor Md Sharfuddin Ahmed said, “The name of the first ever organ donor of the country, Sarah Islam will be immortalised. This sacrifice of her will create awareness among people. Many people will get a new life.”