Sunday, October 07, 2007

At the heart of Malaysia

When I learnt from Malaysiakini that Mohamed Ezani Mohamad Taib, clinical director with the heart institute, commented on the good progress by dear Tee Hui Yee after her second heart transplant (see There are 'hearts' afterall) I was elated, as elated as Mohamad Ezam who said: "I was relieved and happy to see the progress, as I really got scared when the first transplant failed."

As you are all aware, dear Marina Mahathir has also been keeping tabs on little Tee when she (Marina) visits her dad. So I do get regular updates from her blog - thanks Marina.

malaysiakini photo

Wong Chun Wai of the Star Online also wrote an important article titled Have a heart, Malaysia where he added his thanks (on top of mine and many others) to the wonderful chief cardiothoracic surgeon Datuk Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub, National Heart Institute people, Royal Malaysian Air Force flight crew who flew the vital organ to Kuala Lumpur, and many others.

May I also add a Godzilla-size thanks to the parents of the donors – and get this, I believe at least one of the donors was Muslim, so please realise the important significance of this magnanimous gesture by his parents. It’s breathtakingly generous beyond expectation, as Muslims are very careful about human parts. I salute them.

Also equally important, Wong made a point that it's important for hospitals (and may I add, everyone, especially the public) to carry out campaigns to get Malaysians to donate their organs because, as Wong said, this would be the right the time, when public awareness of the magnificent rally around Tee has resulted in a feel-good muhibbah feeling, a feeling that is currently at its pinnacle – yes, now’s the time to pluck at the public’s heartstrings for the greater good of other less fortunate Malaysians.

In other words, through the public support of organs donation we can enable more miracles to happen for those unfortunate, for them to have a second lease on life as the one Tee has benefitted from.


  1. yes, BIG thank you to all esp. the parents of the donor.

    i had signed up as an organ donor many years back and had an organ donation card issued by the nat. kidney foundation (where i signed up) which i carried proudly with me everywhere i go... unfortunately i had lost that card when i lost my purse. without the card, people won't know i'm an organ donor if something happen to me, so i guess i should apply for the card again.

  2. KT,
    When we pledge to donate our organs do we give specific instructions to whom the organs must go to? When we are dying of certain organ malfunction do we specify from whom we must get our organ from? Any sensible human must not make an issue about race or religion. It is a life that is to be saved and it is the most honourable gesture one can you make before you meet your maker.

  3. The authorities also need a good system to very quickly match an organ donor to a patient who needs one. They only have a few hours window to sort everything out and harvest the organ before it deteriorates. Going by my personal experience, there isn't a good system in Malaysia.

    All my siblings and myself are registered organ donors.
    My elder brother died suddenly a few years ago, from a head injury. A healthy man in his 30's, and all his major organs were intact. We pointed that out to the hospital authorities. But they just didn't have a system to match him to someone else in the country who might be in need of a transplant.

    After a few hours, well, it didn't matter any more.

  4. Zawi, on the noble principle of charity, we shouldn't - when we become organ donors we shouldn't dictate the conditions the bank may use our organs. Though I am not sure whether anyone has, but I have been told that some Muslims are reluctant to donate their organs for a couple of reasons (not necessary entertaining both), (1) being Muslims they have been told they can't allow peopel to remove any body parts from their corpse (all must be buried), and (2) they are fearful of committing a sin by allowing their organs to be donated to a non Muslim.

    But the incident I have applauded proves these to be not true or at least not entertained by all Muslims.