Seven gifts of life from A young hero

“Ai xin”, a young man, fell into a coma after suffering a severe head injury in a traffic accident. He was transferred to East Campus of Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University (RHWU) for further treatment. A multidisciplinary team was rapidly established to spare no efforts to rescue the young life. Despite their best efforts, Ai’s temporary stability deteriorated unexpectedly, and he fell into a deep coma at the night of May 18th. All tests revealed that he was brain dead. Knowing this irreversible condition, his families accepted the diagnosis of brain death and agreed to save more lives with organ donation. They contacted the Organ procurement organization (OPO) of RHWU. In the midst of the grief, they made a decision to let their son live in another way, saving as many as dying lives they can. The OPO coordinator was impressed with the power from the families when communicating about all donation processes. After OPO confirming that Ai’s medical evaluation allowed donation, the search and match began in the organ procurement and transplantation system. Their son’s heart, liver, lung, kidneys, and corneas succeeded to match with 7 registered recipients in RHWU.

In the morning of May 19th, it is the brief send-off ceremony that medical team from RHWU and OPO staffs had before facing a race against time.

The medical team consisted of four transplantation teams from departments of cardiovascular surgery, hepatobiliary surgery, thoracic surgery, nephrology (Renal diseases, dialysis and transplantation center), anesthesia, ICU, and operating room, involving more than 50 medical experts. Under the unified command of OPO of Renmin Hospital, all available organs were obtained systematically to the respective transplant team in time for every best-matched patient.

Cooperated with the anesthesia team lead by Dr. Liao Fan, the transplant team of thoracic surgery lead by Dr. Wang Zhiwei finished the delicate anastomosis of all vessels as soon as possible after the donation heart arrived. They succeeded to witness the strong beat from the new heart for 56-year-old Liu with end-stage heart disease.

Assisted with Dr. Wu Yang from the anesthesia department, the lung transplantation team lead by Prof. Huang Jie, Dr. Kang Ganjun, and Dr. Lin Huiqing, accomplished the sequential VA-ECMO double-lung transplant. The recipient Xie was transferred to ICU without ECMO safely at 01:00 AM on May 20th.

With the help of anesthesia team of Dr. Liu Zhigang, the liver transplant team lead by Prof. Ding youming, Dr. Chen Zubing, and Dr. Wang Bin, succeeded to finish all the reconstruction procedures for normal function of the transplanted liver for the patient Hu, suffered the advanced cirrhosis.

With the collaboration of anesthesia team of Prof. Meng Qingtao, the kidney transplant team lead by Prof. Wu Xiongfei and Dr. Liu Feng was divided into two groups to perform the renal transplantation for two recipients with uremia at the same time.

Good news came in succession from the wards and ICU during next few days. All recipients stayed in stable condition, and their new organs from Ai Xin worked well revealed from the clinical observation and tests.

In the following week, with the leadership of Prof. Yuan Jing, the transplant team from ophthalmology accomplished to have two patients to regain the sights.

Through Ai’s death, he and his family gave life to 7 other people with the donation of his heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and corneas with the collaboration of the medical team from Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University.

We believe the young hero’s life is not ending but continues in seven.

(Transferred by Zhang Lu)

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