Doctor serves medical science even in death

VADODARA: Dr Jhaveri Patel, a renowned ophthalmologist and philanthropist of the city, dedicated his life to spread awareness about organ donation. In his death too, he set an example to encourage the cause he supported throughout his life.

Patel had pledged his organs 55 years ago. After crossing the age of 75 years, he pledged his body at the SSG Hospital’s department of anatomy. His daughter, who is a retired anaesthetist of SSG Hospital, donated his body on Monday after he died at the age of 99 years on Sunday morning.

“He truly believed that organ donation is the noblest form of donation. Apart from the last three years of his life, he was very active in the medical circles of the city. Every patient who could have been saved but died waiting for an organ donor would disappoint him. He had convinced everyone in the family to pledge their organs,” said his elder son Dr Mahesh Patel.

Patel also knew that there is a shortage of bodies for medical students to learn anatomy and surgery. “Due to the natural deterioration of organs, those over the age of 75 years are rendered unfit for donation. When he crossed the permissible age of donating organs, he decided to donate his body. He would say if he can not save someone then he would help someone learn how to,” recalled his daughter Dr Hima Patel.

Dr Jagdish Soni from SSG Hospital’s department of anatomy said that there are myths about the fate of the bodies. “Many still don’t know about the embalming process and how cadavers are utilised in medical colleges. We receive 20 to 25 cadavers annually but we have to answer questions about how the bodies will be stored and disposed at the end of the year. When doctors donate their organs or bodies that are best example,” he said. Dr Patel died following a brief illness at his residence in the Alkapuri area of the city. He is survived by his wife Parul Patel, daughter Dr Hima Patel and sons Dr Mahesh Patel and Dr Haresh Patel.