|CHONGQING, April 4, 2019 -- Xiao Wei, a 16-year-old girl who accepted a donated kidney from a two-year-old two years ago, attended a commemorative activity in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality ahead of Tomb-sweeping Day, which falls on April 5 this year.
Tomb-sweeping Day, also known as the Qingming Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival when people pay tribute to deceased family and friends.
"It is the 'little angel' who has brought hope for my family and me, whereas, his family suffered from pains of losing their loved one," Xiao Wei said when addressing the activity.
Xiao Wei suffered from uremia for years. Luckily, in China, a patient suffering from organ failure has more chances to receive an organ transplant, as an increasing number of volunteers are willing to donate their organs.
In the past four years, China's organ donation volume has increased by 32 percent annually, ranking second in the world in terms of annual donation volume, Guo Yanhong, vice director of the medical administration division of the National Health Commission.
China's annual donation rate per million people has risen to 4.53 from 0.03 in 2010, according to data from the China Organ Donation Administrative Center. As of March 2019, more than 1.16 million people in China had registered as organ donation volunteers.
About 300,000 people in China need organ transplants every year, of which only 10,000 will eventually get the chance, with a supply-to-demand ratio of 1:30. Zhang Leida, a transplant specialist at the Army Medical University, said there is a serious shortage of organ transplant donors in China.
Liang Huiling, party chief of the Red Cross Society of China, said more extensive publicity and mobilization activities are needed to help society as a whole have a better understanding of the importance of organ donation to promote its development.
Patients with organ failure rely on luck, as they must wait for a matching organ and undergo a successful surgery.
Hu Wei, 50, said he thanks luck and the donors. Many of the other patients in his ward have passed away before they could find an appropriate donor.
Before his kidney transplant surgery, Hu had to go to the hospital every other day to have hemodialysis therapy. Now, he has returned to normal life.
Hu's new kidney was donated by Ye Sha, a 16-year-old a boy from the city of Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, who was crazy about basketball.
Ye died of a brain haemorrhage in April 2017. His organs, including his heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and cornea were transplanted to seven patients. Five of the seven patients who accepted Ye's organs organized a basketball team to continue Ye's dream.
Ye and the patients' story have encouraged many Chinese people to register for organ donation, according to the China Organ Donation Administrative Center.
Organ donation not only helps patients gain the opportunity to extend their lives but also comforts the families of the deceased.
Phillip Andrew Hancock, an Australian, died in Chongqing last year when he was 27. To respect his wishes before death, his parents donated his organs to five Chinese people.
Philip's parents wept aloud as they kissed a picture of their beloved son on a monument at the Chongqing Organ Donation Memorial Park.
His father Peter Hancock said, "We can not hug him anymore... but we know his organs are still alive in Chongqing."
For the donors' families, the improving health conditions of the patients who accept the donated organs can be a kind of comfort.
"Organ donation does not mean the end of a life but means new life starts afresh," said Xiao Wei.