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61-year-old gets another shot at life, with sister's kidney

The 58-year-old sibling stepped up to the task, as the woman’s son could not be her donor, having undergone a kidney transplant himself

On Tuesday, a 61-year-old woman, who has been suffering from ill health for years, received a priceless gift from her younger sibling in the form of a kidney.

Vimla Kewalramani and Poonam Advani say they are now closer than ever
Vimla Kewalramani and Poonam Advani say they are now closer than ever

Poonam Advani, a resident of Ajmer, came to the city a few months ago, after her health took a sudden sharp turn for the worse. After examining her, doctors gave her the devastating news that she was suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) and was in dire need of a transplant.

Her son, who underwent a kidney transplant when he was only 22-year-old, wasn’t eligible to be her donor. Poonam, who is also a cancer survivor, was then informed that her sister, Vimla Kewalramani, who is only three years younger than her, was a match.

Vimla said, “I immediately agreed to become a donor. My sister has been suffering from hypertension for the last decade, and doctors informed us that dialysis wouldn’t help improve her life.” On Tuesday, Poonam became the third member in her family to undergo a kidney transplant. Her youngest sister Ridhika’s husband also underwent a kidney transplant nearly 17 years ago.

“Even I wanted to donate my kidney to my elder sister. But since it has been long since my husband’s transplant, I might need to donate my kidney to him in the future, if his health deteriorates again,” she explained. The procedure lasted for nearly three hours, following which Poonam is now recuperating in the ICU of Global Hospital, where she went under the knife.

Speaking to mid-day, Dr Bharat Shah, director of the institute of renal sciences in the privately-run hospital, said he suspects hypertension might have resulted in CKD for Poonam, as her creatinine levels were high. “We have conducted 50 live kidney transplants this year. The patient will be discharged in the next five to seven days. Her condition is stable,” he said.

The donor, Vimla, is expected to get a discharge from the hospital on Thursday, and doctors have said that she will make a full recovery in a few months. “Thankfully, the paperwork required to get a green signal from the government got done on time and there was no delay in the surgery, even though we are from Rajasthan. My sister and I have always been close, but after the kidney transplant we have bonded even more, though we’re admitted in different rooms of the hospital now,” she said.

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