THE family members of a 51-year-old street cleaner decided to donate her organs after she was diagnosed with brain death following a traffic accident May 28, the Daily Sunshine reported yesterday.
Zhang Xianchan was hit by a tourist bus as she was cleaning the street on Fuli Road in Guangming New Area at around 9:30 a.m. May 28.
She was brought to the Guangming New Area People’s Hospital for emergency treatment and was later transferred to the ICU. Her husband, who is also a street cleaner, could barely recognize Zhang when he saw her at the hospital because her face was deformed in the accident.
Zhang’s daughter, Liu Feng, took a flight to Shenzhen with her husband and 4-month-old baby from Dazhou, Sichuan Province, on May 30 to visit her mother. However, the doctors told them that Zhang was already brain dead and she couldn’t breathe on her own so her life was being sustained by a breathing machine. Even if she could regain her breathing, she would at best remain in a vegetative state.
Doctors suggested that the family wait for another week to see if Zhang’s condition would improve, but if she didn’t, she would suffer from organ failure in the following week.
“I saw that my mother was being given a blood transfusion night and day, and it reminded me that the blood was also donated by other people,” Liu said, adding that she and her family were touched by a relative who had signed an agreement to donate her organs a few years ago despite her family’s objection.
Liu said her family decided to donate Zhang’s organs and they believed Zhang would agree with the decision as well. “We couldn’t save my mom, but if she could leave something to the world, as her children we would feel that we are still connected with her,” she said.
Liu’s brother contacted Zhi Ruineng, a coordinator with the Red Cross Society of China, on Saturday to prepare for the donation, and the family signed the donation agreement later that day. According to Zhi, Zhang could at least donate her liver, kidneys, pancreas and corneas, which would save four people’s lives and help another two people restore their eyesight.
After Zhang passed away at around 5 a.m. Tuesday, the organ removal operation was performed.
Liu said her mother was a warm-hearted person. Once there was a truck loaded with cement boards tipping over on the roadside near their home in the village, and her mother used a hoe to rescue a few people who were hit and trapped by the pile of cement boards.
Zhi said that the family’s decision was honorable because donating the organs wouldn’t only save other people’s lives, but also extend Zhang’s life in a way. (Zhang Yang)