Debunking the warring saas-bahu myth, a 59-year-old woman saved her daughter-in-law’s life by donating her kidney. Both women are now convalescing after having been discharged from the hospital following the successful transplant. Vile Parle housewife Vaishali Shah (35) visited her family doctor back in March 2013 to get treated for a bout of fever. Since she was experiencing some swelling in her body, the physician advised the family to consult a nephrologist, to rule out renal problems.
The test results came as a shock. Vaishali’s husband Manish said, “All hell broke loose when her creatinine levels were found to be exceptionally high and it was diagnosed that both her kidneys were functioning poorly and that she would require a transplant.” Manish added, “This was the first such case in our entire family and community, and we were extremely worried, emotional and upset. It was finally my mother Surekha (59) who came forward and volunteered to donate her kidney, and her kidney matched.”
Dr Prashant Rajput, treating nephrologist at Global Hospital in Parel, said, “Vaishali’s creatinine was fluctuating and was not coming under control; her creatinine a day before the transplant surgery was 13, though she had no other complications. She was put on dialysis a day before the surgery on October 24. Post surgery, she did not require any further dialysis.”
While Surekha was discharged from the hospital three days after the surgery, Vaishali was discharged on October 31. Speaking to MiD DAY, Surekha said, “My prayers have been answered by the Almighty. My kidney matched and my daughter-in-law has got a new lease of life. All I can do is appeal to people that they not be scared of donating their organs, and come forward to save lives.” Vaishali, needless to say, is overwhelmed with gratitude for her mother-in-law for giving her another shot at life. She said, “At first I was scared of surgery, but I am thankful to my mother-in-law and doctors who performed the transplant.”
Dr Pradeep Rao, head of the urology department at Global Hospital, who conducted the laparoscopic donor nephrectomy on Surekha, said, “Kidney donors are usually not patients; they donate their organ to save somebody else’s life and it is of utmost important that they undergo least inconvenience. Unlike the traditional method where post-operative recovery time is anything between six and nine months, recovery time in a laparoscopic donor nephrectomy is hardly a week, and the donor can continue with his or her routine. What’s more, it’s a pain-free process.”
Speaking about Vaishali’s surgery, Dr Bharat Shah, nephrologist and founder of Narmada Kidney Foundation, said, “Preemptive kidney transplantation is the best way to get a kidney transplant done, as it saves lot of money otherwise spent on dialysis. It also reduces the risk of viral infection through dialysis and chances of rejection post transplant are also minimal, as compared to transplants done on patients who were on dialysis for a longer period. The overall well-being of the patient is greater in case of preemptive kidney transplantation.”
“Nowadays we have nuclear families where many siblings may not be open to donation, and in many cases it is the spouse, in-laws or unrelated people who help the patients with kidney ailments. Vaishali and Surekha are both doing extremely well and are on immunosuppressive drugs,” said Dr Prashant Rajput, the treating nephrologist attached to Global Hospital. Manish has vowed to donate his organs 10 years from now, and will also educate people in his family about the need to donate organs.
Did you know?
4 to 5 lakh people in the country develop end-stage kidney diseases, of which only 5,000 get kidney transplants only one per cent of the total number.
3 to 4 per cent kidney patients are on dialysis
97 to 96 per cent of kidney patients do not get required treatment