Doctors at Fortis Hospital Mulund performed a unique Liver transplantation surgery when a sister travelled from the USA, despite international travel restrictions, to donate a part of her liver and save her brother’s life. The transplant was essential as the patient was suffering from Liver Cirrhosis for the past one year.
The procedure was successfully conducted by Dr. Gaurav Gupta, Consultant & Chief Surgeon, Dept. of Liver Transplant and HPB Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, and his team.
Detailed Description :
36-year-old Mumbai resident Suresh Devani was diagnosed with Liver Cirrhosis in June 2020 and had been in & out of the hospital for one year. He had multiple infections, and his condition was deteriorating rapidly. The only way of saving and improving the quality of his life was a Liver transplant. However, during the pandemic, the number of organ donations saw a great dip.
Suresh’s wife had offered to donate a part of her Liver, but she wasn’t a right match for the transplant. When Suresh’s USA-based sister heard about his condition, she immediately stepped in to volunteer and donate. Due to the pandemic, getting air travel permission was a big task. In fact, for several months, international travel was disrupted entirely, and many countries had stopped flights to India.
Moreover, the living organ donation norms in India are strict when it comes to donors from foreign countries. These regulations are in place to avoid organ trafficking. But this was a special case; it was about saving a life.
“This was a one-of-its-kind case as we learnt how love and determination can help overcome all obstacles. When we understood that the patient’s sister Sumita Gajera was willing to donate, she was evaluated and was found to be a good match for her brother. The process to get all the required permissions for the donor to travel and the donation to happen was quite painstaking, but the sister was determined to save her brother. This was a unique situation where the donor is an American citizen, and the recipient is an Indian. Also, this was the only hope we had to save the patient as Suresh was in a critical condition. Every passing day without a transplant would worsen his condition. We made concerted efforts to get all permissions for Sunita’s travel, despite the lockdown and restrictions. After getting all the permission for transplant were in order, Sunita Gajera was allowed to travel and gift a new life to her brother”.
Dr. Gupta and his team helped Suresh’s sister with the necessary documentation to seek permission from the US embassy and the FBI. Documents required to get permission from the US Embassy, Director of Medical Education and Research (DMER), were expedited to enable the transplant procedure.
From the Doctor's desk :
“This instance teaches us that living continents away does not weaken relationships. It also stands as a golden example of furthering the cause of Organ donation. Around 5 lakh people in India need to undergo lifesaving organ transplants each year.
Many patients die due to the lack of availability of donors for transplants. Therefore, the need for understanding the significance and impact of organ donation is even more critical,” says Dr Gaurav Gupta, Consultant & Chief Surgeon, Dept. of Liver Transplant and HPB Surgery, Fortis Hospital Mulund.