It is a New Year’s gift Zeel Shah’s family will not forget. On Thursday, the 16-year-old student, whose liver had stopped functioning due to dengue, received the organ from a young patient who died due to brain tumor at Jaslok Hospital.
The donor, a 15-year-old girl, had slipped into coma after a surgery on December 23. When she was declared brain-dead on Wednesday night, her family, still reeling from shock, volunteered to donate her kidneys and liver.
The gesture transformed the life of Shah and two others, who were liberated from dialysis machines.
“One kidney went to Lata Krishnan (39), who was waiting for a long time. The other was sent for a patient at a Andheri hospital,” said Medical Director S.K. Mohanty.
The Shahs don’t know the donor’s family but are praying for their well-being. Zeel had been transferred from Lilavati Hospital to Jaslok for a transplant but her mother was unfit for donation. As a last resort, the family was about to leave for Delhi, hoping that a cadaver transplant (using an organ from a brain-dead donor) would be possible, when they were told that a liver was available.
A team of doctors headed by liver transplant specialist Dr Sanjay Nagral implanted the liver taken from the donor’s body into Shah’s abdomen while another team performed the surgery for Krishnan. Both are recuperating in the hospital’s intensive care unit.