Medical staff and organ donation coordinators pay tribute to the 21-year-old organ donor surnamed Zhou in an operation room at Shanghai General Hospital on April 3, 2017. [Photo provided by Shanghai General Hospital]
A 21-year-old migrant worker donated his organs after being pronounced brain dead and was able to save three patients, thepaper.cn reported.
The man, surnamed Zhou, was critically injured at a construction work site in Shanghai and sent to hospital on March 31. After the operation, he was still in a severe coma the following day and was pronounced brain dead. In the early hours of April 2, Zhou's parents who live in Fujian province arrived at the hospital with several other relatives.
Preliminarily believing Zhou met organ donation conditions, organ donation coordinators informed Zhou's family members about the possibility of donation, which requires the approval of Zhou's parents.
"At first, most of Zhou's family members objected to donating Zhou's organs, as they could barely accept the sudden tragedy," said Mao Xiaoqiu, organ donation coordinator with Organ Procurement Organization of Shanghai General Hospital.
Zhou is an only child and his parents are both handicapped. He was the bread winner in his family. Stricken by such a blow, Zhou's father fainted at the scene.
Wang Pinglian, Mao's colleague, said the organ donation coordinator does not persuade family members of potential donors. "Doctors are trying their best to save patients' lives. Only when patients' lives are unable to be saved will we tell family members that they have a choice," she said.
"Some functional organs in an irredeemable body can save other people's lives. It is a very great and meaningful thing," said Wang.
Seeing how severe Zhou's condition was, no one wanted him to suffer anymore, an elder female cousin of Zhou said, who knows about the concept of organ donation and explained it to the family members.
"Zhou's father eventually realized that it is better to let part of Zhou's body live in this world than let Zhou die meaninglessly. It is a spiritual sustenance and continuation of life," she said.
After hours of negotiation, Zhou's parents signed the donation agreement, donating a liver and two kidneys of Zhou on April 3.
The information was then uploaded to the China Organ Transplant Response System for automatic matching. When there was a confirmed match, the organs were transported to their destinations. In the early hours of April 4, three patients reclaimed new lives after organ transplant operations.
Zhou's donation was the 324th donor case in Shanghai's history and the 49th this year. Shanghai became the first batch of pilot cities to carry out organ donation in March 2010 and saw its first case in August 2013.
In recent years, the number of organ donation cases has increased rapidly.
The data from the Red Cross Society of China Shanghai branch shows that by the end of 2016, the number of organ donation registrants reached 6,349 and the number of donation cases has totaled 275, increasing by 75 percent since last year.
The registration process of organ donation was also streamlined at the end of last year. It only takes 10 seconds for people to register for organ donation via Alipay, a payment app operated by Ant Financial Services.