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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2

Untimely and tragic deaths of Swaran Singh from Bharpurgarh village in Amloh, Punjab, and Shanti Devi from Solan, Himachal Pradesh, are extremely difficult to reconcile with for their families.

Amid their immense grief, both families find some consolation in knowing that the death of their dear ones gave precious gift of life to some.

The decision impacted eight lives with donation of liver, kidneys and corneas at the PGI.

It was the fateful day of May 29 when Swaran Singh, 42, got critically injured after falling from a motorcycle. He sustained serious head injuries and fell unconscious. Initially, he was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Khanna. The family rushed him to the PGI on May 30. Swaran could not be revived and declared brain dead on the night of May 31.

When it became clear that Swaran would not survive his head injuries, Navdeep Bansal, transplant coordinator at the PGI, approached Daljit Kaur, wife of deceased Swaran Singh, to request if she could consider organ donation.

Daljit, along with her son Harman Singh, showcased immense grit and consented for organ donation.

“There are no words to describe someone being in our position. I was thinking if we could save someone else from going through this, then let’s do it. At least, some other family will be saved from the trauma that we are facing today,” said Daljit.

Following the family’s consent, transplant surgeons retrieved liver, kidneys and corneas from the donor, Swaran Singh, which on transplantation gave new lease of life to three terminally ill patients battling for life and gave the gift of sight to two others, thereby, helping five lives in all.

The PGI witnessed equally magnanimous gesture from the family of Shanti Devi, 63, from Solan, Himachal Pradesh, when they consented for organ donation which resulted in saving the life of one patient suffering from end-stage renal failure. The corneas of the deceased will be used for another two patients at the PGI, thereby giving them sight and impacting their lives.

The day of May 31 started as usual for Shanti Devi, but it ended with a tragedy. Shanti Devi, who was riding pillion on a scooter with her son Sunil, suddenly fell from the vehicle and received fatal head injuries.

Seeing no improvement at the local hospital where Shanti Devi was admitted initially, the family immediately brought her to the PGI on that day itself without losing any time. However, the destiny had some other plan as Shanti finally succumbed to her injuries on June 1.

The mishaps

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Mitochondrial DNA and T. cruzi DNA

Heart tissue sections (10 mg) were subjected to Proteinase-K lysis and total DNA was extracted by phenol/chloroform extraction/ethanol precipitation method. Total DNA (100 ng) was treated with RNase A (EN0531, Thermo Scientific, Waltham MA), purified by using DNeasy Mini Spin Columns (Qiagen, Germantown MD), and examined for quality (OD260/OD280 ratio of 1.7–2.0) and quantity ([OD260 –OD320] x 50-?g/ml) by using a DU 800 UV/visible spectrophotometer. To assess the cardiac mtDNA integrity, total DNA was used as template with mtDNA-specific primer sets and PfuUltra II Fusion HS DNA polymerase (Stratagene, La Jolla CA). The long range PCR to amplify 10 kb mtDNA was performed with hot start of 2 [email protected]°C followed by [email protected]°C, [email protected]°C, [email protected]°C for 28 cycles. Densitometry analysis of mtDNA bands was performed as above, and 10 kb mtDNA level was normalized to short-length, 117-bp mtDNA and 96-bp GAPDH nuDNA.

To assess tissue parasite burden, total DNA (100 ng) was used as a template with SYBR Green Supermix (1708882, Bio-Rad) and Tc18SrDNA-specific primers, and real-time qPCR was performed on an iCycler thermal cycler. Data were normalized to GAPDH, and relative parasite burden was calculated as 2-?Ct (?Ct = CtTc18SrDNA—CtGAPDH). The primers are listed in Table B of S1 Table.