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Late girl's cornea donation fuels organ drive

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The number of people registering to donate organs in Vietnam has increased sharply after a 7-year-old girl donated her corneas to two patients.

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Nguyen Hai An died at 7 years old in February and her corneas have been donated to two patient


Nguyen Hai An was a little girl from Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem District and suffered from brain cancer. On February 22, while An was in Vietnam National Cancer Hospital and before she fell into a coma as she faced imminent death, An and her mother agreed to give away her corneas to who in need. 

Her mother called the hotline of Vietnam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation to express desires to donate An's corneas. She hoped to give the corneas to some children so her daughter could live on. Since An was only seven years old and wasn't brain dead, they could only take her eyes after she died.

There were four patients selected for the donation, including a five-year-old child. However, after consulting, the doctors decided to transplant An’s corneas to two most compatible patients, a 73-year-old woman with corneal scarring and a 42-year-old man with a cataract. 

Her story has moved thousands of people and motivated people to ignore superstitious beliefs about burying entirely intact bodies. Statistics from Vietnam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation show that 251 people have registered to donate organs in the past days. 100 people registered on March 1 alone. Nearly 100 e-mails were sent and many called to the centre to counsel about organ donations.

A representative of the centre said, "An's mother is very open and willing to share their story. There are also many other donors but they want to remain anonymous which is actually a challenge when you want to promote organ and tissue donation."



Source: Dtinews

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