Sanchari Vijay, the National Award-winning Kannada film actor, has been declared brain dead on Monday after sustaining severe injuries in a road accident on Saturday in Bengaluru. The actor’s family decided to donate his organs once the private hospital he was being treated at declared that he had sustained irreversible brain damage.
As per the hospital statement released at 8.20 pm on Monday, Vijay’s apnea tests were performed at 12.25 and 7.50 pm and were found positive, indicating “irreversible complete damage to the brain.” The hospital added that the actor’s family had been informed and that Jeevasarthakathe (body constituted by Government of Karnataka to overlook organ transplantation) officials had arrived and the organ retrieval and transplant procedure would take place as per protocols.
On Tuesday, at 3.34 am, Vijay was declared dead.
The 38-year-old actor had been receiving treatment at the Apollo Hospital in Bannerghatta Road under the care of neurosurgeon Dr Arun Naik.
Earlier on Monday, Dr Naik said, “He has not passed away but his brain has failed. So, the family want to donate the organs. He is brain dead, but stable at this point of time and his heart is beating. They are planning for a second test by 6 pm today and depending on that, they will give clearance for organ retrieval. Post that, the organs will be removed from the body. That will be date and time of death.”
Vijay met with a road traffic accident at 11.45 pm on Saturday. He was riding pillion on a two-wheeler with his friend Naveen driving the vehicle. As per the medical statement issued at 10 pm on Sunday from the desk of Dr Naik, when Vijay was brought to the hospital, he was in a “serious condition” and was admitted to the Emergency Department. After a CT scan on the brain showed “severe brain injury” and “subdural hematoma (brain bleeding)”, immediate brain surgery was done to remove the haemorrhage. The actor was in the Neuro ICU unit in a coma and critical state.
On Monday, at 1.15 pm, the hospital released another statement that conveyed that Vijay’s treatment at the Neuro ICU unit continued and his heart rate and blood pressure were stable. “Neurologically he is deeply unconscious and is showing signs of brain failure,” the statement said. The actor’s family have given their consent to donate Vijay’s organs in view of “current irreversible brain damage,” it added. While his condition continued to be critical, the hospital said that he was being treated with full life support.
Vijay, who started out as a theatre artist, has appeared in over 20 films. He made his debut in the 2011 comedy film Rangappa Hogbitna. Later, he went on to portray the role of a transgender woman in Naanu Avanalla…Avalu (2015), which earned Vijay the National Film Award for Best Actor. The film also bagged him the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor – South.
He also starred in the 2014 Kannada film Harivu, which won the award for Best Feature Film in Kannada at the 62nd National Film Awards.
Vijay’s other appearances include the short film Avyaktha (2017), and Killing Veerappan (2016), for which he was nominated for SIIMA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Kannada. He was last seen in Act 1978 (2020).
The news of Vijay’s condition came as a shock to the members of the Kannada film fraternity and many expressed their condolences on social media.
Recollecting his memories of meeting Vijay before the lockdown, actor Kichcha Sudeepa wrote on Twitter that he [Vijay] was very “excited” about his upcoming films and said the news about the actor was “disheartening”.
Actor Rakshit Shetty wrote, “Your sudden demise has left a huge void, this is disheartening! Rest in peace Vijay. My deepest condolences to the family.”
Stand-up comedian and actor Danish Sait called it “unfortunate” and wrote, “I just saw an article saying he was in the ICU, and now I read this. My condolences to Mr. Sanchari Vijay’s family and friends. Rest in peace sir, your contribution to cinema will live forever.”