Eight-month-old Tavish Jain is a bundle of energy. As his mother, Bijal, tried to make him lie still on the bed on Tuesday, a sense of relief was apparent on her face.
Bijal, 26, and her businessman husband, Sanket, 26, returned to their Byculla home last week after Tavish underwent a successful liver transplant in Delhi’s Medanta Hospital on August 30. He suffered from a rare disorder, Factor VII deficiency, in which the blood does not clot.
Operated at when he was six-months-old, Tavish is possibly the youngest patient in the country to have undergone a liver transplant to treat the disorder, said Dr Chetan Kantharia, liver transplant surgeon at KEM Hospital, where Tavish tested positive for the deficiency.
Factor VII, a protein produced in the liver, is essential for normal clotting of blood.
"When Tavish was only two-and-a-half-month-old, one day he developed black and blue spots all over his body," said Sanket. The baby suffered several episodes of bleeding and had to be hospitalised and administered Factor VII injections, the cost for both added up to Rs 1 lakh per month.
Though doctors had told Sanket that there was no cure for the rare blood disorder Tavish was suffering from, the Byculla businessman did not give up hope. Sanket diligently trawled the internet to look for all possible cures and was informed by a relative in the US that older patients had been cured after undergoing a liver transplant. That’s when Sanket got in touch with Dr AS Soin, chief surgeon and chairman of Medanta Hospital.
"Tavish’s case was a huge challenge due to his age, constant requirement for Factor VII injections and because he weighed only 6 kg," said Soin, who transplanted a small portion of Bijal’s liver into her son’s organ.
During the operation, doctors had to keep a check on excessive bleeding or clotting, which could have proved fatal for Tavish. As he needed only 150 gm of liver, the smallest removable portion of his mother’s liver (300 gm) had to be pruned.
"We equipped our laboratory to measure Factor VII blood levels. We also conducted detailed dosing studies on Tavish to work out the correct doses and duration of effect of Factor VII injections, something that had never been done for such a small child," said Dr Neelam Mohan, chief liver transplant physician and director of paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology, Medanta Hospital.