‘I’d Give up All my Organs to Save my Children’
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10 March 2011
By Pratibha Masand
For Dr T P Lahane, dean of the state–run J J Hospital, World Kidney Day is a reminder of the precious donation his mother made 16 years ago. While Lahane has become a household name because of his expertise in eyecare, not many people know that he is a recipient of his mother’s kidney. Around 20 years ago, when he was in his mid–thirties, he was diagnosed with a kidney problem. After undergoing dialysis for five years, the doctors treating him decided it was time that he underwent a transplant. Lahane, who hails from Makhegaon–a small village in Latur district–received a kidney from his mother on February 22, 1995.
The first symptom manifested in 1991, when Lahane was making his daily rounds checking in on his patients in a hospital in Beed. He found he could not walk. "I started feeling giddy. My blood pressure was 240/140. Further tests revealed that my creatine levels were extremely high," said Lahane.
After being treated in a Pune hospital for a while he was advised to undergo dialysis. "I would go to J J Hospital every Thursday for the dialysis. After sometime, however, the doctors said I should undergo a transplant. In fact, some of my doctor friends had told me that I should invest in life insurance as I wouldn’t survive for more than two years," said Lahane.
Lahane recalls that all eight members of his immediate family agreed to donate their kidneys. "The doctors tested my parents, four sisters and two brothers. My mother’s kidney was the best match," he said.
His mother Anjanabai Lahane, now 77 years old, said the only thought in her mind at the time was to save her son. "I was afraid, not for myself, but for him. I just wanted him to be all right. I would have given all my organs to save my children," she said. "Apart from oldage, I suffer from no health problems."
Most people are under the impression that a transplanted kidney does not last a lifetime but Lahane believes otherwise. As long as the donor and the recipient take proper care, they can both lead a normal life, he said. "After a transplant, the immunity of the recipient is low as he or she is usually put on a lifelong dose of immuno–suppressants. But apart from minor viral infections, I haven’t suffered from any infections after the transplant," said Lahane, adding that he has no diet restrictions, but is very particular about his medicines.