1. Damayanti, a 14-year-old organ donor from Odisha, was laid to rest at Swargadwara in Puri with full state honors.
2. Her selfless act of organ donation, despite her young age, earned her recognition and respect from the state.
3. Damayanti’s farewell ceremony underscored the importance of organ donation and honored her courageous decision.

Bhubaneswar, Feb 25: The last rites of Damayanti, a 14-year-old brain-dead organ donor from Odisha, were conducted at Swargadwara in Puri on Saturday.

Her noble act of organ donation, amid a tragic circumstance, garnered recognition from the state as she bid farewell with full state honors.

Damayanti, a ninth-grade student hailing from Keonjhar district, had been battling chronic kidney disease (CKD) for several months. The situation exacerbated when she suffered a brain stroke, leading to her admission to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, on February 15.

Despite medical efforts, Damayanti slipped into a coma and required ventilator support.

Upon a thorough assessment by an expert committee at AIIMS, Damayanti was declared brain dead.

Her parents, Banita and Dukhabandhu Mahanta made the courageous decision to donate her organs. With their consent, the hospital initiated the process for organ retrieval.

Surgeons at AIIMS successfully retrieved Damayanti’s liver, which was swiftly transported to a hospital in New Delhi through a green corridor facilitated by various authorities, including the Commissionerate Police, airport authorities, and airlines.

Initially, plans were made to donate Damayanti’s lungs to a hospital in Chennai. However, due to her condition and certain defects detected in her lungs, the Chennai team opted not to proceed with the transplant.

State Honors and Recognition

In acknowledgement of Damayanti’s selfless act, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared that the last rites of organ donors would be performed with state honors. This gesture aims to honor their sacrifice and bravery, serving as a testament to their noble deed.

The Odisha government introduced the Suraj Award in 2020, named after a brain-dead organ donor from Ganjam district. Under this award, kin of organ donors receive financial assistance from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund on World Organ Donation Day.

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Promoting Awareness and Support

Patnaik emphasized the importance of organ donation and the crucial role played by families in saving lives through their consent. Initiatives like the Suraj Award and state honors aim to raise awareness and encourage more individuals to consider organ donation.

Supporting Emergency Medical Services

Additionally, the Chief Minister approved a special allowance for drivers, emergency medical technicians, and helpers involved in the state’s emergency medical ambulance service. This allowance is aimed at recognizing their invaluable contribution to providing emergency care to the people of Odisha.

The 108 ambulance service has been a lifeline for the people of Odisha since its inception in March 2013. With a substantial fleet and extensive coverage, the service ensures prompt emergency care and transportation, catering to the healthcare needs of numerous patients every month.

Damayanti’s act of organ donation, coupled with the state’s initiatives to promote awareness and support, reflects the collective efforts towards fostering a culture of compassion and altruism in Odisha.

Through honoring her noble deed and recognizing the contributions of emergency medical personnel, the state reaffirms its commitment to the welfare of its citizens.