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Anand the angel
Anand Seepersad always loved helping others.
It was this passion that led Seepersad to become a firefighter. This is also what made it easier for his wife, Kimberly Beharry, to donate his kidneys after his untimely death.
Beharry said it was comforting to know that Seepersad lives on in others.
It, however, is a sacrifice that not many people in this country have made or are willing to make.
The Ministry of Health’s National Organ Transplant Unit (Notu) has been established since January 2006 and up toAugust 26, this year, there were 155 kidney transplants done in the country through the Notu.
Of those 155 transplants only 26 were from deceased donors.
A single deceased donor can provide relief to two people living with kidney failure.
There are over 100 people in this country who do not have anybody to donate a kidney to them and are currently on a waiting list hoping to get one from a deceased donor, according to statistics from the Notu.
In August, Guardian Media Ltd launched the Gift of Life, a campaign to promote public awareness about organ donations and transplants with the aim of encouraging citizens to augment this country’s donor pool.
This week we take a look at “Anand the angel.”
‘I told him I love you, the children love you, pray...’
On February 15, 2013, the day after Valentine’s Day, Beharry received a phone call that she had hoped never to get.
Beharry was at work at the time she got the call that would change her life forever.
“I spoke to him (Seepersad) like 15 minutes before. I spoke to him normal and when the phone rang again I automatically answered ‘Yeah babe’, but the person on the line was like ‘No, this is the Fire Service ambulance and your husband was in an accident’. And I was like ‘Yeah right’.
“I actually said ‘Yeah right’, and the person on the phone was like ‘No, your husband was in a serious accident and you need to come down to the hospital’.
“I just had to drop everything. I was in a mess. I was frantic. My boss took me to the hospital and that was it,” she said.
Seepersad, the father of Brianna, 13, and eight-year-old Sydney, was on his way to work at the Arima Fire Station around 11 am when he got into a vehicular accident. He was rushed to the Sangre Grande District Hospital.
“When he went to the hospital he had head injuries. They did a CT (computerised tomography) scan and they were rushing him to Port-of-Spain General Hospital because he needed to undergo an emergency brain surgery,” Beharry said.
“When he was at the Sangre Grande hospital and he was leaving he was able to respond, not to open his eyes or anything like that, but when the nurse was talking to him she asked him to respond by squeezing her hand and he did, so she told me to come and talk to him because he was hearing. So I spoke to him briefly, told him I love him, that the children love him, and that he needs to pray because we need him to come back home. That was the last thing I ever said to him,” she said
Seepersad was taken to the Port-of-Spain hospital.
“We went down there and the doctor said obviously they can’t promise anything after the surgery but he had to do it because there was swelling in his brain,” she said.
The brain surgery was done that night.
“They did the surgery and when he came back out he did not wake up. He was not responding,” Beharry said.
Seepersad spent ten days at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but his condition did not improve.
“I was in a daze, I didn’t eat for that entire period. I could not eat, I just wanted him home, I just wanted him back home,” Beharry said.
Doctors told Beharry that it appeared Seepersad was brain stem dead.
“They said there were a series of tests that they needed to do and once he responds, any response at all, then okay he is alive and if not, then they would pronounce him brain stem dead,” she said.
“I asked them if I could see what they were doing because I could not just believe that they were doing it. So my brother and I, we stood there and we looked on while they did their tests. They took off the ventilator. He did not breathe for ten minutes. They did all the tests. They shone a light in his eyes to see if his pupils would dilate. They pressed his temples and there was nothing. He did not respond,” Beharry said.
Seepersad was pronounced dead on February 24. He was 32.
On the same night that Seepersad was pronounced dead, Beharry said she was approached by the Notu.
Seepersad’s kidneys were still functional.
“After the Notu came and spoke to me, for me it was a no-brainer because my husband always wanted to save others, he would go out of his way to help people, that is the way he was. Everybody who knew him, knew that was him, so when they asked, I said ‘Yes, go ahead, it would not be a problem’,” Beharry said.
Beharry said the fact that Seepersad was able to save lives even in death was amazing to her.
“Losing my husband was indeed the worst thing I ever experienced but for him to be able to give life after death was what he would have wanted,” Beharry said.
“The fact that he (Seepersad) was able to make a difference even in death was amazing to me. That proved to me that God is real. That even through my tragedy a life could be saved and to me.”
"That is what he would have wanted. That is what he was. To me, Anand was an angel and to know even after death he could still do that, to me that was just fulfilling,” she said.
Seepersad was laid to rest on February 27.
He was given military rites.
Beharry recalled that just eight months after they renewed their wedding vows Seepersad was involved in the car crash.
“On June 15, 2012, we renewed our vows after ten years of marriage. He was an amazing father and a loving husband who always put people before himself. He loved his job and was very passionate about it.
He truly was a beautiful soul and it’s comforting knowing that he still lives on in others as well,” Beharry said.
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