Mumbai: Swapping of kidney saves lives of two battling end-stage chronic disease

Nov 24, 2018, 18:20 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Chembur and Vile Parle families bond after a transplant, which has saved the lives of their respective members suffering from end-stage chronic kidney disease

Mumbai: Swapping of kidney saves lives of two battling end-stage chronic disease
Sandeep Lamba

"We have become one big family. Even after discharge, I will stay in touch with them. They will be the first ones to get invited to any function in my house," said Sandeep Lamba, 35, face masked, resting on a hospital bed after his kidney transplant.

The Chembur resident was talking about the Mehtas from Vile Parle. The two families, in their desperate need for kidney donors, bonded, courtesy a rare swap transplant at Global Hospital in Parel.

How the swap worked out
How the swap worked out

How they matched
Sandeep and Nitin Mehta, 63, had been suffering from end-stage chronic kidney ailment for years. Their last hope was a transplant. They found donors amongst their respective families, but medical complications made it impossible to go ahead - Nitin's wife Ranjan registered to donate her kidney, but their blood groups didn't match: she an A+, he O+; for Sandeep, his mum Parvinder Kaur, 67, wanted to donate, but they both suffer from a rare genetic disorder, which the doctors found out about at the last minute and cancelled the surgery as it could have worsened his condition.

And then came a ray of hope in the manner of a kidney swap. "Nitin doesn't have the genetic disorder and his blood group matched with Parvinder's, while Ranjan's matched with Sandeep. Hence, we decided to do the swap rather than wait for months for cadaver donors," said Dr Bharat Shah, head of the Nephrology Department at the hospital.

Sandeep Lamba with the team of doctors at Global Hospital in Parel, flashes a thumbs up after the kidney swap transplant. The other patient, Nitin Mehta, was discharged on Thursday
Sandeep Lamba with the team of doctors at Global Hospital in Parel, flashes a thumbs up after the kidney swap transplant. The other patient, Nitin Mehta, was discharged on Thursday

Two reborn
This has given a new lease of life to two families. "I have two children, one in Std IV and another in kindergarten. Had anything happened to me, my whole family would have suffered. That's why I am relieved and indebted to the Mehtas. They are part of our family now," said Sandeep.

Nitin, who is diabetic, would have developed several complications and infections after transplant had he taken a kidney from a donor with a different blood group. Nephrologist Dr Prasant Rajput said, "Because the donor had the same blood group, the surgery could be done without steroids, which helped to control his sugar levels, cardiovascular risks and bone problems. Considering that Mehta is 60+, the risk of rejection may be high, but the infection rate has decreased."

"I wouldn't have survived if Parvinderji hadn't donated her kidney to me. Now, I am home again only because of them [Lambas]. I don't have to tolerate the pain of the needle pricks during dialysis anymore," said a relieved Nitin.

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