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Times of India
27 March 2010
Malathy Iyer
Mumbai, India

Born again: A liver transplant from a 21-year-old woman gave Nandkumar Pradhan a new lease of life Born again: A liver transplant from a 21-year-old woman gave Nandkumar Pradhan a new lease of life
The turn of events in the life of Thane resident Nandkumar Pradhan life read like a film script. Some of his statements have a distinct dramatic touch: “God creates blood relations but, in my life, it is doctors who forged one such life–saving bond.”

To put it in a nutshell, on the night of February 16, doctors at Jaslok Hospital saved Pradhan’s life by transplanting a liver from a deceased donor. It is this donor–recepient bonding that Pradhan is eternally grateful to. “Before my surgery, there were moments when my wife suggested that the two of us should commit suicide and free our children of the pain,” Pradhan said, adding that he thanked the donor’s family every single day for his “new birth”.

But the element of cinematic drama in Pradhan’s case comes from the fact that his new liver came from a 21–yearold girl who herself had been suffering from kidney failure for years. She was in hospital for a kidney transplant when she started sinking and progressed to brain death. “As she was herself a kidney–failure patient, her family must have undoubtedly understood the importance of organ donation and donated her liver,” said Dr Sanjay Nagral who was part of the transplant team.

Pradhan’s condition was detected a little over six months ago. “I was in a city hospital with acute jaundice for over a fortnight when my liver cirrhosis was finally discovered after 14 years of being told that my spleen was the problematic organ,” says Pradhan. He was then referred to Jaslok Hospital’s liver diseases team.

Hepatologist Dr Aabha Nagral, who has been treating Pradhan for the last six months, said, “When he came to us, he had developed a dreaded complication of the liver that was affecting his kidney function. By replacing his liver, the kidney could be cured. He needed special injections costing lakhs of rupees that his employer Air India provided for.”

It was also decided that he would go for transplant and his son would donate half his liver to him. “But just before this operation, the son developed a lung problem. Transplant surgeons Sanjay Nagral and Dr Nilesh Doctor felt that he was too ill to recover with just half a liver,” said Nagral.

Then began the wait for a cadaveric liver. “The medical fraternity now believes that a full cadaveric (from a braindead donor) liver against a live donor’s half liver is better for most patients, except children,” says Sanjay Nagral.

Lady Luck smiled at Pradhan as within a month, the unidentified donor gave a gift of life to him. “The paradox was that he got a liver from a donor who had kidney failure and her liver not only cured his liver disease but also reversed his kidney function back to normal,” Nagral added. As he walks into the consultancy room at Jaslok Hospital, Pradhan looks happy. “I am writing a book on the transplant. As soon as the doctor gives the green signal, I will be back at work.” City police drags feet on organ donation Mumbai: The family of a BARC employee who was knocked down along the Trombay Highway last week, gave the gift of life to three patients suffering from organ failure in the city on Thursday. Unfortunately, their act of altruism was marred by procedural delays by the Trombay police in giving a no–objection certificate and conducting a post–mortem for the road accident victim.

Incidentally, this was the sixth deceased donor in the city this year, saving the lives of eight kidney failure and five liver failure patients, said Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre's (ZTCC) coordinator Sujata Ashtekar.

In the latest donation, which took place at Jaslok Hospital on Peddar Road, the liver was donated to a patient registered at Wockhardt Hospital in Mulund, one kidney was donated to a patient registered at Hinduja Hospital in Mahim and the other to a patient at Jaslok itself. Incidentally, of the six cadaver donations this year, four were at Jaslok Hospital itself.

The BARC employee, whose family doesn’t want him to be identified, was declared brain dead on Wednesday. “Within 24 hours, the family consulted his office union members, who came to the hospital and discussed the matter with our transplant coordinator before giving the consent,” said Dr Admiral S K Mohanty, medical director of Jaslok Hospital.

Confirming the delay in releasing the body, Dr Mohanty said all accident victims have to undergo a postmortem. In fact, to iron out delays in police NOC, ZTCC has already embarked upon a sensitisation meetings at various police stations. Said Dr Gustad Daver of ZTCC, “If a diagnosis of brain death is confirmed then the doctors and the police should be able to work out a method by which to avoid a post–mortem. Perhaps an MRI or CT scans can be used as evidence.”

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