Harish Nanjappa: ‘Donate My Organs,’ Accident Victim Requests His Rescuers As He Lay Dying

Harish Nanjappa, a 23-year-old man who died in a freak accident in India, is making headlines thanks to an amazing gesture he made just before he died. Harish, a resident of the Indian city of Bangalore, was involved in a horrific crash on Tuesday in which his body was cut in half by an overspeeding truck.

But what he did in the few minutes after the crash, before succumbing to his injuries, is what is being discussed across India now. In a selfless act, Harish requested his rescuers to ensure that his organs be donated after he dies. Instead of asking the emergency personnel to rescue him, he pleaded his rescuers to harvest his organs so that it helps those who are in need. It seems Harish, in the last few moments of his life, had realized that he would not survive the accident. Soon, Harish was taken to a nearby hospital where he eventually died of his horrific injuries. Honoring his request, the doctors there were able to harvest his eyes which is now awaiting a suitable recipient.

According to the Times Of India, Harish Nanjappa was travelling on his bike and was on his way from Gubbi, his native village in the Tumkur district of India, when he was hit by a truck that tried to overtake him. Harish was coming back after voting in a local election. The accident happened on the busy NH4 (National Highway 4). The impact of the truck hitting the bike caused him to fall off the bike and he ended up under the wheels of the large vehicle. The horrific accident resulted in his body being cut in half. For a few agonizing minutes, Harish lay helpless on the road pleading for help. Onlookers, many of them confused as to what to do, simply stood there watching him cry in agony. Some even took out their mobile phones to record the horrific accident. According to eyewitnesses, several people saw Harish crying for help, flailing his arms as vehicles passed him. Finally, someone had the presence of mind to call up an ambulance. Help arrived soon after. However, by the time the ambulance and the emergency crew arrived, it seems it became clear to Harish that he would not survive the accident.

According to a senior police official investigating the incident, Harish was taken to a hospital within seven to eight minutes after the news of the accident reached emergency workers.

“Two ambulances reached Harish within 7-8 minutes of the accident being reported. He was rushed to the nearest hospital. He died a few minutes after being taken there,” DSP Rajendra Kumar said.

Mr. Kumar also said that the driver of the truck that caused the accident was arrested. The driver, identified as Varadaraj, is now in police custody and now faces charges for causing a death due to rash driving.

Meanwhile, the doctor who performed the surgery to retrieve Harish’s eyes is still amazed at the selfless act of the man. Dr. Bhujang Shetty of the Narayana Netralaya, an eye hospital in the region, almost chokes as he talks about Harish.

“We’ve collected Harish’s eyes as he was keen on donating his organs. It’s astounding how a man who was split into two and lying on the road was able to think with such clarity. It’s unheard of. He did not suffer head injuries because he was wearing a helmet,”

Describing Harish’s injuries, a doctor from HOSMAT hospital where he was admitted said,

“The injury he suffered is called a crush injury, in which a person’s bones, muscles, blood vessels and skin are separated from the body. It is inhuman that so many vehicles passed by. Despite a Supreme Court order, people still refuse to help accident victims. It was heroic of Harish to think of donating his organs to help others even as he lay in the middle of a road. It is possible for a person to survive being dismembered if timely intervention is provided.”

As the news of Harish’s gesture spread, people started talking about him on social media.

Harish’s body was later handed over to his family who took him to his village for his last rites.

[Image By Diego Delso (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons]