O-Positive Kidney Swap Story
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06 April 2010
By Malathy Iyer
It’s the irony of having Opositive blood flowing through one’s blood vessels. One can donate blood for all other groups but can receive only from a fellow O group–positive donor. Dev Sareen knows the feeling all too well.
If not for an altruistic couple from Ajmer and doctors with the knowhow at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital, he possibly wouldn’t be back at work as a railway engineer in Ujjain. He is now an advocate of swap–kidney donations, an emerging trend that the Union government has already taken note of and announced its decision to include in the soon–to–be–upgraded Organ Transplant Act.
He got a kidney from Ajmer resident Madhu Sharma, the O–positive wife of another kidney patient Mahinder, who, in exchange, got a kidney from Dev’s wife Vimla. The couples will meet at their doctor’s clinic again on April 14 to learn about each other’s progress.
A railway engineer presently based in Ujjain, Dev knows the pain of looking for a kidney, especially in a comparatively smaller town that doesn’t have the infrastructure like Mumbai. That is when he came to Mumbai’s railway hospital looking for solutions. He met nephrologist Dr Madan Bahadur in Mumbai.
“My son is O–positive and he was willing but doctors said he was too young to give me a kidney”, said the 56–year–old, who had been enduring painful dialysis for almost three years.
The doctors had another railway employee on their list, Mahinder Sharma, who – after being on dialysis for two years – had come to them with a request to transplant one of his wife’s kidneys.