Iraqi national Behram Khudur Murad was steadily and agonisingly sliding toward death, when his half-brother stepped in to donate part of his liver. The liver transplant, carried out at a city hospital, succeeded in saving his life.
Thirty-four-year-old Murad, who worked as a preacher in a famous pilgrimage place in Kurdistan, was leading a normal life until last year, when water started accumulating in his stomach and legs which caused immense pain and swelling.
He consulted doctors in Iraq who diagnosed him with liver cirrhosis -- long-term damage to the organ -- due to an autoimmune disorder because of which his body’s immune system started attacking his liver.
He would need a transplant to live, the doctors told him, and the country did not have the medical expertise to perform the procedure.
“In a matter of months, he had lost 30 kg and his health was still deteriorating,” said Drnas Murad, his younger brother.
He then travelled to Jordan for treatment where, too, facilities for a liver transplant were not available.
India was the second country he visited. “We were referred to Mumbai by a family friend, Hayat, so we decided to come here for the transplant,” Drnas added.
On September 8, he underwent a liver transplant in Mulund’s Fortis Hospital. His younger, half-brother Abbas was the donor. Murad was successfully operated by a team of doctors led by Dr Rakesh Rai, senior consultant transplant surgeon.
The procedure cost the family $40,000 (approx Rs 25 lakh).
“The surgery lasted for only 10 hours, as compared to the usual 20 hours since liver transplant is a complex procedure. A part of the donor liver was removed and replaced in the recipient whose liver was completely damaged due to cirrhosis caused by autoimmune liver disease,” said Dr Rai.
He added that Murad was in the ICU only for six to seven hours before he was shifted to the general room where he is currently recuperating. He will be discharged on Wednesday evening, following which he will be reunited with his family in Iraq.
“He has two daughters and a seven-year-old son who are eagerly waiting for their father back home. We had come to the city in August when we met Dr Rai and decided to go ahead with the transplant,” said Drnas.
A gaunt Murad is also eager to return to his normal life in Kurdistan. Speaking in a feeble voice, he said, “Doctors assured me that I would gain weight in a few months and will be able to resume a normal life. After suffering for an entire year, I am looking forward to that the most.”
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