Rekha Shridhar

Providing a new lease of life

A single parent, Rekha was devastated to learn that her only son was brain dead after a fatal accident. She showed enormous courage and fortitude by deciding to donate his organs to those in need, thus providing them with a new lease of life.

"When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life or in the life of another..." has been rightly said by Helen Keller. When we speak about a woman with a kind heart, fierce mind and brave spirit, the story of Rekha Shridhar comes to mind.

She is a single parent who lived with her only son Rishab, who had just turned 18, a hotel management graduate, full of energy and life... who used to travel from Greater Noida every day to his college in Delhi.

On 16th January 2015, Rekha, a teacher by profession, had just returned from school after a busy, hectic day. She was relaxing in the evening when, around 6 pm, she received a call that no mother would ever want to receive. Her only son Rishab was involved in a major car accident on the Greater Noida expressway wherein the car driven by one of his friends was hit by a UP roadways bus .There were five kids in the car. Rishab's best friend, Shivam, died on the spot, another kid died the next day. Rishab was grievously injured and had fatal head and brain injuries. He was taken to the hospital after almost half an hour by a good Samaritan though there were many insensitive people watching him injured, many busy clicking pictures and making videos.

Rishab was immediately put on ventilator when he reached the hospital and went into a coma. Doctors, attending him, tried to revive him in whatever way they could but Rishab was declared brain dead the next day, that is, 17th January 2015. Then Rekha made the toughest decision of donating her son's organs.

All the organs like liver, kidneys, heart valve, corneas, pancreas, stomach linings etc were donated to Army Hospital, Delhi. Rishab's organs gave a new lease of life to almost about 9 patients. She drew comfort from the fact that her loss may help and save the lives of a few at least. She believed that it was the only positive outcome of her loss to keep her son alive. She treats her decision as a blessing which enabled her to make a difference in the lives of others. She also urges others to become organ donors as, "No one knows when you may die. But when you go, you can leave a legacy, should anything happen to you, you will be a blessing to somebody's family and as long as the sun shines you would be remembered."

Rishab may not be present physically in the human form but his mother Rekha finds solace in visualizing and feeling his spiritual presence and aura around her always. As she rightly says "Only souls go to heaven not the organs." The story of Rekha Shridhar is a good example of an ‘inspiring woman’.


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