Liver transplant donors, recipients feted in Delhi

December 18th, 2008 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Children and adults, who were donors and recipients of liver transplants during the past 10 years, were treated like stars at a function Thursday to mark a decade of liver transplantation in India.Anupam Sibal, group medical director of Apollo hospitals, said: “Since 1998 more than 200 liver transplants have been done. In the last two years, 128 liver transplants have been carried out with 90 percent success rate and 100 percent in paediatric cases.”

“This life saving therapy has given hope to thousand with cases of liver failure. Our transplant unit received patients not only from India but from fifteen other countries including US and Canada,” Sibal added.

Doctors and hospital staff beamed proudly, as they recollected the journey of each of the patients that had received “not an organ but a new lease of life” at the event held at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Delhi.

Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo group of hospitals, said: “The success of our liver transplant programme exhibits that we are second to none and India is well on its way to becoming a global health care destination. Our programme has encouraged all sections of society to come together and promote organ donation so that many more lives can be saved.”

Shy and lean Sanjay Kanthasamy from Kanchipuram was recipient of the country’s first successful liver transplant in 1998.

Kanthasamy suffered from Biliary Atresia soon after birth, a common condition that necessitates a liver transplant in children. The transplant was carried out on him and his father as the donor, at the liver transplant facility at Apollo hospitals Delhi Nov 15, 1998.

Exuding confidence, he joined the panel of doctors at the dais and declared: “I am Sanjay Kanthasamy. In 1998, I was ill. Now I study in class 6… I am in my school’s basketball team and I love to play.”

After an uncertain pause, he added: “I want to be a doctor. I also share a special bond with my father who donated 30 percent of his liver to me.”

Kanthasamy was one among 60 former patients who were recipients or donors that had gathered at the function.

Another patient, 40-year-old Ron from Canada, is still in post-operative care after his transplant two weeks ago.

“I am amazed with the care I received here. I thank the doctors and nurses that have taken care of me and my family so well,” Ron said, sitting on a wheelchair, guarded by two intensive care unit nurses.

Vikas Tuli donated a part of his liver to his ailing newborn son Ayush in March this year. Ayush, now a happy gurgling kid, fell asleep in his mother’s arms, soon after the function started.

“I was the sole bread winner and I thought what would become of my family if I didn’t make it. I was wrong to even think that. It is a tough decision, but the key is not to weigh the pros and cons, and go for it,” Tuli averred.

The cost of the operation at Apollo Hospital here comes to about Rs.1.2-1.5 million for children and Rs.1.7-1.8 million for adults.

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