Sumitra Deb Roy,TNN | Jun 22, 2014, 11.45 PM IST

MUMBAI: After a dismal performance in 2013, cadaver donations in the city have shown a healthy rise this year. A total of 19 cadaver donations have already taken place in the first half of 2014 as compared to the 20 in the whole of last year.

The 19 donations have resulted in 33 kidney and 17 liver donations. And, the numbers are already catching up with the 34 kidney and 17 liver donations in 2013. City hospitals, however, have to strive harder to beat the record of 2012, when cadaver donations had touched a high of 26, resulting in 43 kidney and 18 liver donations. 2012 had also witnessed two lung donations in the city. There has been no lung donation in the city since then.

The Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) that distributes organs to member hospitals said awareness among citizens had a significant role to play. The latest organ donation at Lilavati Hospital last week underlined everything right about it and much more. When Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar, a member of National Commission for Women and former Mumbai mayor, lost her daughter Hemangi (18) to brain haemorrhage, she initiated the process of gathering knowledge about donating her organs. The mother of two communicated her decision through a doctor and initiated the process of harvesting Hemangi’s kidney and liver that gave two people the gift of life last Thursday. The collegian was born with one kidney. Her corneas too were donated to Lilavati Hospital, where she was admitted on June 6.

Nirmala said, “I learnt about organ donation during my stint with the civic and health departments. It is a tough decision for any mother, but a crucial one. We waited for her condition to improve, but after a point we had come to terms with her condition. We did not wait for any counselling as we had taken the decision already.” She was also willing to donate Hemangi’s heart. The significance of heart transplant took centre stage recently following a Bandra girl’s successful surgery in Chennai. “I was willing to fly her there. But, I was told, there are no recipients ready,” she said.

ZTCC president Gustad Daver said donor families deserve full credit for the healthy trend. “There is a growing awareness among people and also more hospitals are doing transplants. But more non-transplant hospitals need to start retrieving organs.” There are over 3,050 patients registered with the ZTCC for a kidney and 200 for a liver transplant.