People Plant Trees to Honor Organ Donors in Kyiv
People planted dozens of apple trees to symbolize patients' gratitude for a new life
Such a tradition exists not only in Ukraine, but in many countries.
Artem has been living with a new heart for a year. His mother, Tetiana, said that they were waiting for a match for four years. The last five months they spent in India, where the surgery was done.
“It is hot, very hot there, so it was hard for him to walk, and I was carrying him in my arms. We got 10 calls and on the 10th time, we got a new heart, while before they were not suitable. That is because he has blood 0 type, while the most widespread there is AB. That is why it took so long,” Tetiana said.
Natalya Omelchuk also found her new heart in India. She thinks every day about a man who unknowingly saved her life and the lives of five other people.
“His name was Ravi Dovani. He was 22 years old. He was coming back from work and got in a car accident. The doctors pronounced him brain dead. I am very grateful to the parents of the donor; we still talk. His brothers found me afterwards, and his mother said that her son is still alive while his heart beats,” Omelchuk said.
Around a dozen Ukrainians gathered in Kyiv to plant trees in honor of their donors.
“People who die, who donate their organs after their death, they give a chance to save someone else’s life. This is the highest degree of humanity in the whole world. This is happening in Ukraine for the first time,”event organizer Yurii Andreyev said.
Annually, several thousand Ukrainians require an organ transplant, but outdated legislation forces most patients to look for help abroad.
“We are counted as foreigners, and in case there is a citizen of the respective country and a Ukrainian, the citizen will be first in line for organs, and we come after. Ukraine has specialists. The doctors are ready, the labs are ready. You know, surgeon Todurov has already done these kinds of operations,”said cardiologist Valentyna Shapovalova.
A law passed by the parliament should help alleviate this problem.
The legislation, which comes into effect in 2019, will improve the legal procedure for “explicit consent” for post-mortem donorship. That means, people will be able to agree to donate their organs after their death, and patients will be able to find a donor.
Financing for most transplant operations will be provided by the state.