Family Shares Story of Heartache, Helping Others
A Maple Grove family is turning their story of unexpected loss into an inspiring conversation-provoking moment.
Nithya Shankar shared her story with KSTP in an effort to encourage organ donation. Her husband, 38-year-old Shankar Vishwanathan, drown during an outing with his family at Elm Creek Pond in the summer of 2011.
Mayo doctors reached out to Nithya, inquiring if she'd be open to donating his tissue or organs. They were on a deadline. They needed her answer within 24 hours.
It's a decision she made alone, because she and Shankar never talked about becoming organ donors during their 12 years of marriage. It's a conversation she's urging all families to have before it's too late.
Nithya said yes. While alive, Shankar loved to be helpful. Nithya wants his legacy to live on through others. So far, 24 people have received the gift of his tissues.
Experts at LifeSource, Mayo's organ transplant program, say the donation from one person can save or heal up to 60 people. Right now, there are 2,800 people in Minnesota waiting for a life saving transplant.
Register to donate organs and tissue here.