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Upasna, 33, Chandigarh

“ I was told that I will not be able to marry but I found love of my life at the age of 20 and I am happily married since last 12 years..It was a love marriage.. you know?”

To be diagnosed with auto-immune hepatitis at tender age of 12 could possibly devast dreams of any teenager, but such was not the case with Upasna.

“ I was told that I will not be able to marry but I found love of my life at the age of 20 and I am happily married since last 12 years..It was a love marriage.. you know?” chirps. Life though was not easy for her with frequent illness and gastric troubles, but with her fighter spirit she was pulling through it with all the support from friends, family and ofcourse doctors of PGI, who have been managing her illness since 20 years now. However, in 2010, things started becoming grim. Her breath was becoming laborious with each passing day and incidents of internal bleeding were getting more frequent, leaving her much weaker. Between 2010 - 2011 she was hospitalized in ICU atleast 6 times.

Placed on the waiting list for receiving a liver transplant, she had to wait to find a matching liver from a deceased organ donor. Her condition deteriorated rapidly. There were days when she felt that she could is only a few days away from the end, but still hopeful, she always kept her bag ready and her phone besides her, in hope that she might get a call from the transplant centre.

One evening she received the call, for which she has been desperately waiting. Family of one young deceased road-traffic accident victim was willing for organ donation.

Upasna got her gift of life- the liver transplant, on 6th October 2011, which she now celebrates as her second birthday. Kidneys from the same donor, also gave lease of life to a patient of kidney failure.

She recently has joined back her job as admin manager at the training firm she earlier worked with. On being asked how does she feel after transplant, she says “It feels so nice to regain all my energy and enthusiasm… I can now eat normally, can do my work normally, without depending on anyone else.. It’s as if I breathe new life every moment now.”

Ruchika, 25, Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan

"I plan to work on promoting blood donation and open a school for children"

Born in farmer's family, Ruchika always dreamt of being a teacher and to open a school at her hometown. But last year she was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia, a condition in which the body fails to build up enough blood cells. Her hemoglobin levels dipped below 4 gm/dL. She started feeling much weaker than before and due to low number of protective white blood cells, infections took over her frequently. She could see her dreams crumbling because with the weakness setting in, she could no more concentrate on her M.Ed studies. She was kept on medicines sometime but that was not a long-term cure.


Born in farmer's family, Ruchika always dreamt of being a teacher and to open a school at her hometown. But last year she was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia, a condition in which the body fails to build up enough blood cells. Her hemoglobin levels dipped below 4 gm/dL. She started feeling much weaker than before and due to low number of protective white blood cells, infections took over her frequently. She could see her dreams crumbling because with the weakness setting in, she could no more concentrate on her M.Ed studies. She was kept on medicines sometime but that was not a long-term cure.

“I plan to work on promoting blood donation at my hometown so that people come ahead to help others in need” says Ruchika, who is now all set to be back to her normal life and give back to the society.

Rohit Joshi, 16, Student, Panchkula

"It was nice to regain a clear sight and be able to read the blackboard properly"

Rohit was three year old when his eyes started troubling him. Slowly over the years, the problem started growing. Watering of eyes, pain in eyes and sensitivity to light was increasing as the time passed. An eye check-up confirmed that he had developed a degenerative disease of cornea, called Keratoconus.

"I could not see from the back bench, what teachers used to write on blackboard.. it was all hazy.. and I had to copy it down from my friend’s notebook" says the 16 year old aspiring Chartered Accountant.

Scarring of cornea due to the disease and frequent rubbing of eyes made it difficult for him to study at school. He was given frequent injections in his eye and other medications to control the disease and give a symptomatic relief . But the permanent treatment was only cornea transplant.

In 2008, one day in April he got the gift, that someone else had left for someone like him. He got a Corneal transplant from an eye that was donated by some deceased donor. The scarred and damaged cornea was replaced by a crystal clear cornea from donor’s eye, removing the curtain of haziness from his vision forever.


He now can read the things written on blackboard clearly from the back bench in his classroom. “ Hey..i am a back bencher only because I am taller than my batchmates..don’t take it otherwise!” quips Joshi, digging up in his books, as we set up our camera to click hic picture.