Girl lives on with kidneys of both parents
41-year-old Bandana Modak, living on the outskirts of Krishnanagar in Nadia district, is now raring to join the kidney transplant campaign for other less privileged brothers and sisters.kolkata Updated: Mar 30, 2008 18:35 IST
Her father is long dead, but Bandana Modak has been carrying his kidney, though now non-functional, for 14 years since 1988 when she got the kidney implanted in a first cadaver transplant case in eastern India.
Then Bandana got her mother's kidney too in 2002, in a rare case of an offspring getting transplants from both her parents.
The demure looking 41-year-old housewife, living on the outskirts of Krishnanagar in Nadia district, is now raring to join the kidney transplant campaign for other less privileged brothers and sisters.
She still recollects the moment, ie 14 days after the first kidney transplant on March 9, 1988 when the news of her father's death was broken to her by nephrologist Dr A Nandi, the man behind the operation.
"I was told that my father was brain dead by the time one of his kidneys was removed for transplant and it was a matter of time before the life support sysem was taken away. Three-four days after my transplant, I got an inkling that my father was no more."
"But nobody told me in clear terms. When the doctor broke the news 14 days after the operaton, I went momentarily numb," Bandana told PTI at the chamber of the doctor at a clinic in Kolkata.
Recalling the days, Dr Nandi said after Bandana's renal problems were diagnosed she was referred to the senior nephrologist by physician Dr Sukumar Mukherjee in December, 1988 and the need of a kidney transplant was felt.
"While we had initially zeroed in on her mother and had done the groupings and tissue matchings with both parents, we decided to use her her father's kidney after learning that he was in coma after a cerebral stroke and sent to their Kishnanagar home with life support system," Nandi recalled.
With a doctor relative of the girl, then just 21 years of age, formally endorsing the idea, her family gave the consent realising the 40-something man, diagnosed as stem cell dead, had no chance of survival.
"We then took both the fatally ill father and daughter to Kolkata and took away the man's kidney and transplanted the organ into her daughter," he said.
It was the first cadaver transplant in the region and possibly in the country in that time, the doctor claimed.
Bandana, who was back to her normal life in the post-transplant phase by sitting for Higher Secondary examinations in 1990 and working with a NGO, remained in touch with the doctor.
The woman, however, was diagnosed with chronic rejection of kidney again in 2001, a good 13 years after the organ of her father was transplanted and this time her mother chipped in.The transplant was done on March 15, 2002.
The woman bore the dual record as the first cadaver transplant recipient in 1988 and the recipient of both parents' kidneys in a span of 14 years, another record of sorts.
Acknowledging she has become a well-known name in the neighbourhood as the one having kidneys from both father and mother, Bandana, now happily married, however rues the medication expenses which the lower middle class family can ill afford.
"I am ready to work towards spreading awareness about kidney donation by citing my own life, though as a housewife I won't be able to visit different areas living in a far-flung place like Krishnanagar. I am willing to lend my name to kidney campaigns, but can there be a little financial help to help me run my medical expenses as my family works in a small firm," she says.
"My father Dinendra Modak went away at an early age, but kept me alive. My mother, now in her 50s, is around offering me courage and hope, but for a kidney patient it is all the more important to continue treatment," the woman said.
Many patients can survive without expensive and drastic measures like transplant and dialysis by taking recourse to corrective factors, he said.
The Indian Association of Kidney Patients, an organisation formed to spread awareness about, the disease, is hosting a 'help them' for people like Bandana in its website www.Kidney.Org.In to seek corporate assistance to the poor and needy, afflicted with renal failure, association's President and himself a kidney transplant recipient Mahesh Srivastava said.