An Indian family who donated the organs of their two-year-old boy after his death have been thanked by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai.
Vivan Vijayan saved three lives when his organs were removed and given to three children in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Hamdan thanked the boy's father Vijith for the decision to donate his child's organs.
"I have received news that embodies the most wonderful humanitarian standing of Dubai," he wrote on Twitter.
"Of the family of Vijith Vijayan, who donated the organs of their deceased two-year-old son to save three sick children in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia and for giving them hope to live, thanks to God Almighty.
"May God have mercy on the child and I wish the three children good health."
The organ transplants took place early this week.
At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a young adult received a liver and a kidney while a child had a kidney transplant at Al Jalila Children’s hospital.
The heart was donated to a person in Saudi Arabia.
The organ transplant law was introduced in the UAE in 2016 and since then doctors have encouraged people to pledge their organs in the event of death to save lives.
Under the country’s National Programme for Organ Transplantation, the Ministry of Health and Prevention has a national donors' registry. Anyone in the country regardless of nationality can become a donor or recipient of an organ.
A total of 22 people have had their lives prolonged with organs from six donors since the law was passed. They donated 12 kidneys, three livers, four lungs, two hearts and a pancreas.
“Since the federal law was passed in 2016, we consider that the entire population has the right to contribute and donate their organs,” Dr Ali Al Obaidli, leading transplant doctor and chairman of the UAE National Transplant Committee told The National.
“It is the ultimate gift of life when a family decides to save the lives of others despite their loss.
“We really appreciate what this family did and the entire country is saluting and praying for their loved one who lost his life.”
More than a decade ago, Hajera Qudoos, 5, made history when she became the UAE’s first paediatric kidney transplant patient, the ground-breaking surgery taking place at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Hospital in May 2010.
Hajera’s life has changed dramatically since the transplant and she is now 16 and a Grade 11 pupil, living a normal and healthy life.
In July 2020, a man from Pakistan became the first patient to undergo a bone marrow transplant in the UAE.
Abdullah Muhammad had blood cancer diagnosed in 2018 but the stem-cell treatment saved his life.
Burjeel Medical City in partnership with India's Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences hospital group is serving patients who need heart and lung operations.
The unit is led by Dr Sandeep Attawar, who performed 12 double lung transplants on patients with end-stage, Covid-19 damaged lungs.
Burjeel's transplant unit is the second such facility in the capital.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has carried out pioneering surgery since 2017, after the legal changes. Before then, operations were restricted to organs taken from living donors – usually a kidney from a close relative.
Three years ago, there were an estimated 6,000 people in the UAE facing primary organ failure, of whom about 4,000 may need a kidney transplant.
The organ transplant donor list system has already saved dozens of lives.
Residents can sign up as donors on the Hayat portal.