Till two months ago, Sakshi Shahapure, 9, would have to undergo kidney dialysis at her Kolhapur home at least four to five times a day. However, thanks to her grandmother Ratan, 58, who donated one of her kidneys to the girl, Shahapure will soon resume school like any other child her age.
Shahapure had stopped attending school after she was diagnosed with a rare congenital condition—multicystic dysplastic—wherein both her kidneys had stopped functioning in August last year.
Doctors said Shahapure’s surgery was a challenge as they had to fit an adult kidney in her body. “Administering anesthesia in children is always challenging. Also, we had to accommodate an adult kidney for which we had to create space,” said Dr Avanish Arora, transplant surgeon at SevenHills Hospital, Andheri, adding that the surgery was performed in April.
Experts said kidney failure is “very rare” in children, as compared to adults. “She suddenly stopped eating and would vomit continuously. We were shocked when doctors said her kidneys had failed,” said Shahapure’s father, Santosh, who runs an engineering workshop in Kolhapur.
Santosh enrolled his daughter with the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee for a cadaver transplant and started exploring the option of him or his wife donating a kidney.
“After tests, it was found out that our blood groups did not match and we could not donate our kidneys. When my mother found out, she too volunteered to donate her kidner,” recalled Santosh. Doctors said Shahapure could require another transplant as she grows older.
“Usually a transplanted kidney remains healthy for 10-15 years. Since the donor was very healthy, we hope the transplanted kidney remains healthy for a longer duration,” said Dr Arora.