Until two months ago, Nadeem Inhonvi and Satish Sapkale, both 48, had never heard of each other.
While Inhonvi runs his own café at Saki Naka, Sapkale lives in Ulhasnagar and works for the Indian Railways.
Today, the two men and their families have forged a close bond and talk to each other almost every day.
The only thing that Inhonvi and Sapkale had in common was that they had suffered renal failure in 2008 and needed a kidney transplant.
They were on the city wait-list for a cadaver kidney transplant, but that would mean waiting for at least three years before a kidney was available.
Both Sapkale’s and Inhonvi’s wives were willing to donate their kidneys to their husbands, but couldn’t because their kidneys were not the perfect match.
While Inhonvi’s blood group was A-positive and his wife Farzana’s was B-positive, Sapkale’s was B-positive and his wife Ashalata’s was A-positive. It was for this reason that Inhonvi and his wife put their names down on the swap registry of Jaslok Hospital about a year ago.
“It’s great to see how four people can come together and help save two lives. We are lucky we found a match and my brother could get a new kidney. We were just two families who could help each other, differences of religion were never on either of our minds,” said Satish’s brother Uday Sapkale, 38.
Dr M.M. Bahadur, nephrologist, Jaslok Hospital, who was part of a team that successfully conducted the swap transplants on June 27, said: “After Sapkale came to the hospital for treatment in April, we thought a swap transplant could be possible between the two couples and we introduced them to each other. After tissue matching tests confirmed that the kidneys were a match, the couples agreed for a swap transplant.”
While Farzana’s kidney went to Sapkale, his wife Ashalata donated hers to Inhonvi.
Inhonvi had lost almost all hope of undergoing a successful kidney transplant after a matching kidney donated by his mother over a year ago failed to function in his body.
“Not having to undergo dialysis twice a week is such a relief. I am happy I can start travelling again soon and leading a normal life,” said Inhonvi.