Women Donate Parts of Liver to Give Husbands Fresh Lease of Life
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08 July 2010
By Sumati Yengkhom
It’s an attempt by two women to give a second life to their respective husbands by donating a part of their liver. While one of the liver transplants was conducted at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals on Wednesday, the other will be done at SSKM Hospital on Thursday.
In the first liver transplant by a private hospital in the eastern region, doctors at the Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals conducted the complicated surgery on 45–year–old Bhutanese patient Norgaye Tshering. The administrative officer at a cement plant in Bhutan has been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver for the past six years. Though he was undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital, complications had started developing. Tshering had slipped into a coma several times in the past year or so, the last one being just around five days back.
That is when doctors decided to conduct a liver transplant, the only option left. Luckily, they did not have to hunt for a donor as Tshering’s blood matched that of his wife E Tshering, who was more than willing to part with a portion of her liver. The marathon surgery started around 7.30 am on Wednesday and continued for almost 13 hours.
“The surgery was successful, but the post–operative part is still to be taken care of. Therefore, I would say only half the battle is won. It will take around 20 more days before the patient gets well enough to be discharged,”said Dr Mahesh Goenka, director of the gasteroenterology wing at the Apollo Hospitals.
The Apollo Hospitals in other cities, like New Delhi, has been conducting liver transplants for a few years now. The Kolkata wing had been preparing for a year by upgrading the infrastructure, equipment, expertise and getting permission for conducting liver transplant.
“Around 600 patients from Bhutan come to Kolkata every year. Hospitals in Kolkata are important to patients from our country because they get quality treatment at affordable prices. Plus there is the proximity factor. This liver transplant will encourage more patients to come to Kolkata,”said Bhutan consul–general Tshering Wangda.
On Thursday, SSKM’s School of Digestive and Liver Diseases (SDLD) will conduct its third liver transplant on Asim Mukherjee of Hooghly. The 35–year–old owner of a small medicine shop in Hooghly’s Bachin has also been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver for a few years. He had to be hospitalised six times in the past year due to complications.
Mukherjee was admitted to SDLD about three months ago. For the past three months, doctors had been frantically searching for a cadaver donor. Though his wife Sreyashi (28) was ready to donate a part of her liver, doctors wanted a brain–dead victim as in that case, the transplant would involve just one life.
“We had even got two very good cases of brain–dead patients. But at the last moment, the relatives refused to donate the organs. In some other cities, there are several cases of cadaver transplants. Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness and mental block, it is not happening in this state. Asim’s wife, who has a four–year–son, will be the donor now,”said SDLD head, Dr Abhijit Chowdhury.
The state government will give a free bed and some medicines to Mukherjee. The Liver Foundation, West Bengal, is also chipping with funds for the surgery.
Last April, SDLD created history by conducting the first liver transplant in eastern India. It was on a seven–month old boy Roushan Ali. His father had donated a part of his liver for the transplant. Both are living normal lives now.