Mumbai: Mother and two sons go under knife together for dual organ transplant
In 2014, the man was diagnosed with primary hyperoxaluria, a rare condition characterised by recurring kidney stones.
At the end of a 14-hour procedure that required doctors at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital to carry out simultaneous surgeries on three people a Mumbra resident has received a new lease of life thanks to organs donations from his brother and mother.
In 2014, the man was diagnosed with primary hyperoxaluria, a rare condition characterised by recurring kidney stones. His liver failed to produce the enzyme alanine glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGA), which led to kidney stones. In 2019, after his kidney failed, the man was put on dialysis. Every alternate day, he would receive dialysis for six hours. After some time, his liver also started showing signs of damage. The only way to save the person was with dual kidney and liver transplantation.
“This condition couldn’t be treated by a kidney transplant alone. A simultaneous liver transplant was also needed to ensure the enzyme defect in metabolizing oxalate was also cured and the newly-transplanted kidney didn’t get destroyed with oxalate deposition,” said Dr AS Soin, director of liver transplant at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital.
However, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an over-100% drop in cadaveric donations (which allow organs to be taken from a brain-dead person). However, the man's mother who is 53 years old, and his 28-year-old elder brother, said they would donate their organs. “The patient could be saved because of his mother and brother,” said Dr Percy Chibber, the man's doctor and chief kidney transplant surgeon at the hospital. Dr Chibber it could have taken the man one or two years to get cadaveric donors.
On February 8, all three went into surgery at the same time. It took 14 hours and a group of 35 doctors to complete the simultaneous surgeries. “Once the liver team had completed the liver transplant, we transplanted the kidney from his mother,” said Dr Chibber. “In a liver donation, a part of the liver is divided and removed from the donor and implanted into the recipient,” he explained.
The man's father remembers seeing doctors rushing from one operating room to another. “My wife and both my sons were undergoing surgeries at the same time in different rooms. They had to retrieve the organs and transplant it into Tabish’s body. It was a vulnerable moment for me,” said his father.
A little more than a month later, the donors and the recipient are doing well. For the last eight months, the man's family have been living in a rented home in the Dockyard area so that none of the patients have to undergo the 13-kilometre journey from Mumbra to the hospital. He has to be extra careful as he is on immunosuppressants, which makes him more vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. “The doctors have counselled us about the precautionary measures to be taken as my immunity is low. But so far, I am better and haven’t developed any form infections,” he said.