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Parents of Toddler Who Saved Two Lives Urge Nation to Think About Organ Donation This Diwali

Three-year-old Aari Patel died in a tragic accident at home in 2016. Following the devastating event, his parents Sina and Jay Patel, have shared how their decision to donate Aari’s organs saved the lives of two children. This Diwali, the couple alongside the Jain and Hindu Organ Donation Alliance (JHOD) in partnership with NHS Blood & Transplant and City Sikhs, are urging us all to think about organ donation with a powerful short film, ‘Bringing Light into Life’.

Picture Credit: Pukaar News

The film — which premiered at Trafalgar Square’s Diwali in London — uses themes associated with the festival of lights to convey how organ donation can bring light into darkness for both the families of an organ donor and organ recipients. 

Thousands of people at the Diwali in London event which took place on 23 October 2021, watched the 4-minute film which features the powerful testimonies of young people from the Jain, Hindu and Sikh communities whose lives have been touched by organ donation. 

The aim of the film is to spark life-saving conversations about organ donation amongst South Asian communities in an effort to increase organ donation registrations. This is especially important, given that there is an urgent shortage of organ donors from ethnic minorities in the UK, and sadly, of the 7,000 people waiting for an organ transplant, according to the NHSBT Black and Asian Transplant Report, August 2021, 17 percent are from South Asian backgrounds.

Kirit Modi, Chairperson of JHOD, said: “There is an urgent shortage of organ donors in the UK from South Asian communities and sadly hundreds of people die waiting for a transplant.  This Diwali, the Jain and Hindu Organ Donation Alliance has partnered with City Sikhs and NHS Blood & Transplant to raise an urgent appeal for more organ donors to come forward and start these community conversations to save lives.”

As well as featuring young Aari’s story, ‘Bringing Light into Life’ tells the stories of other people whose lives have been impacted by the issue of organ donation, including Niraj Doshi, whose father died while waiting for a kidney transplant when he was just five-years-old. Shila Rabadia also tells how her father, who died at 63 following a stroke, was able to save two lives by donating his kidney and liver, despite having been diabetic and suffered with high blood pressure. 

Prafula Shah, Secretary/Trustee of JHOD and a living kidney donor, says: “Diwali is such an important time of the year when families gather for celebrate but for some people this festive time will be spent waiting for that ‘phone call’. Through this film, we want to our communities to ‘Bring Light into Lives’ by acting now and registering their organ donation decision.”

Along with the exposure gained from the premiere in Trafalgar Square, the film and these stories will be shared across the Jain, Hindu and Sikh communities in an effort to begin community conversations about organ donation.  

To watch the hard-hitting film, ‘Bringing Light into Life’, please click here.

By Gita Sarasia