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Two Mumbai constables breathe afresh after liver transplants

While one received a liver from a brain-dead patient, another's son agreed to donate 60 per cent of his own organ to his father; both are recuperating at home and look forward to returning to work

It was a good day for two ailing constables in Mumbai, when both received a transplant of a much-required organ after being diagnosed with serious illnesses of the liver.

  
Brahmadev Ghadge (50) wasn’t able to report to work for eight months due to Hepatitis B-related liver cirrhosis; his son Rahul donated 60 per cent of his liver to his father. Laxman Bhogan (53) had to wait for seven months for transplant. Pic/Prashant Waydande

Both constables had been diagnosed with two different types of Hepatitis diseases, and doctors had told them that the disease had severely damaged both of their livers over the years, for which they would need to undergo a liver transplant.

Fifty-three-year-old Laxman Bhogan's ordeal began last year during Ganeshotsav, when he started suffering from symptoms like acute weakness, recurrent fluids accumulation in his abdomen and drastic weight loss.

While he was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis two years ago, doctors found that he was suffering from autoimmune hepatitis, which caused decompensated cirrhosis. “I wanted to donate a portion of my liver, but my blood group was different,” said his wife Purmila.

Doctors at Mulund's Fortis Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment, told the Ghatkopar resident that he was on the waiting list and would be informed when the organ was available. After seven months of being bedridden and losing more than 15 kilos, the Bhogan family then received the call they were eagerly waiting for.

“A 35-year-old man who was suffering from intracranial bleeding was declared brain dead, following which his relatives agreed to donate his liver. He worked as a driver and we suspect a brain aneurysm could’ve caused the bleeding,” said Dr Rakesh Rai, senior transplant surgeon at the privately run hospital.

While the surgery was successfully conducted last month, Bhogan is now recuperating at home and said he looks forward to resuming work at the Worli police headquarters. “We spent nearly R18 lakh for his liver transplant. We had to approach the central government, and then we got his monthly salary when he wasn’t able to work,” said Purmila.

“It was a struggle to get all the money and we had to borrow it from relatives and well-wishers,” she added. Brahmadev Ghadge (50) was recently diagnosed with Hepatitis B-related liver cirrhosis after suffering from similar symptoms like Bhogan.

The head constable at Byculla police station lost around 30 kg due to the disease, following which his 24-year-old son Rahul donated a portion of his liver recently, giving his father a new lease of life.

“We found out just last year that he was suffering from Hepatitis B for so long that it had completely damaged his liver. He wasn’t able to work for eight months and we were then referred to Dr Rai. I offered to be the donor so my father can start living again,” said Rahul, an engineering student.

The cop was recently discharged from the Mulund hospital and is now recovering from the transplant in his Vashi residence. While the Ghadge family managed to collect R13 lakh for the transplant, they got R5 lakh more through various charity organisations.

He said, “Many police constables are suffering from liver diseases but they receive no support. Most of them are from lower economic backgrounds so they have to arrange for the funds through charity which is unfair as higher police officials don’t face such issues.”

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