Donor-recipient couple to represent country in World Transplant Games : The Tribune India

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Donor-recipient couple to represent country in World Transplant Games

CHANDIGARH: A school teacher, Roopa Arora, had never thought of life beyond her family and school.

Donor-recipient couple to represent country in World Transplant Games

Parveen Kumar Rattan, a liver recipient, with his donor wife Roopa Arora in Chandigarh. Tribune photo



Dushyant Singh Pundir

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8

A school teacher, Roopa Arora, had never thought of life beyond her family and school. She was 36 years old then. Today at 44, she thinks everybody needs to know that some acts go beyond heroism.

It was love that drove this school teacher to donate her liver to her husband who was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease. He needed a transplant to carry on. Roopa’s liver matched and there was no argument that was strong enough to convince her against doing so. Now, this is taking them places.

The couple is going to participate in the World Transplant Games (WTG)-2019 to be held at Newcastle in the UK from August 17-23.

Parveen Kumar Rattan (49), a liver recipient, working as senior accounts officer with the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration, and his living donor wife Roopa Arora will be the first donor-recipient couple from India to participate in the WTG, ever since the start of the games at Portsmouth in England in 1978, under Indian team manager Reena Raju, a double heart transplant recipient from Bangalore. They are part of 14 athletes — 11 organ recipients and three living donors — from India.

In 2017, only three organ recipients from India participated in the biennial games held in Malaga, Spain.

Parveen got a new lease of life when his wife Roopa donated 65 per cent of her liver. “For me, my hero will always be my wife who gave me this precious gift on July 5, 2011,” he said.

“Participation in the WTG is a look from beyond the dead because many of us carry a body part that carries a spirit. Running for someone else with someone else’s organ is a very special privilege,” he said.

“We will compete in track and field, race walk and cycling, etc, in 40-49 age categories in the games,” said Parveen.

“Participating in WTG is our second international event of transplant games. Earlier in August 2018, we participated in the Transplant Games of America and won medals in different events. We became the first Indians to participate in these games,” he said.

“Earlier, we were struggling to save one life, but through organ donation, not only my husband got a second chance to live, but our son also got an opportunity to see this world in 2014. Being a living example, we want to rule out myths and misconception hurdling organ donation promotion,” said Roopa.

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