Sister travels from US to give the greatest gift of life to her brother

Liver Transplant in India

Sister travels from US to give the greatest gift of life to her brother

Patient Review

  • Patient’s Name: Mr. Suresh Devani
  • Patient’s Age: 36
  • Patient’s Gender: male


  • Multiple infections with worsening Liver cirrhosis

Case Presentation

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.

Treatment and prognosis

  • Liver Transplant

Physical Examination & Tests

  • Liver Cirrhosis


“We visited multiple hospitals and consulted many doctors. However, there was just one response that the surgery is too risky. When we met with Dr. Gaurav Gupta, he explained the procedure in detail, highlighted the risk, and gave us a glimmer of hope that the surgery could succeed. All staff and doctors were helpful and accommodating. My sister and I are both perfectly fine, three months after the operation, and living a normal life,” expressed a happy Suresh Devani. With a big smile and moist eyes, an emotional Sunita Gajera shared, “My brother is very dear to me, and when I found that the only way to save him was a transplant, I couldn’t wait any longer. Due to the pandemic-related restrictions, getting permissions was quite hassling, but Fortis helped me with most documentation. I am very grateful to the team of doctors who helped save my brother’s life. Today, he lives a healthy life, and I am glad that I could gift him a part of my Liver; our bond has strengthened even more now.” After the transplant, both the donor and the recipient are recovering well. The siblings celebrated Raksha Bandhan together this year.

Relevant Questions

Q. What can potentially cause damage liver?
The 3 main causes of liver damage are: Obesity, undiagnosed hepatitis infection and alcohol misuse. There are some other factors that lead to liver damage. That is,
  • Too Much Vitamin A From Supplements
  • Excess intake of Soft Drinks
  • Too much sugar

Read more

Q. My brother is hospitalized in Nair hospital since last 15days because of alcoholic liver infection, not getting improvement .. So i want to consult with you.

If a patient has alcohol-related liver injury generally treatment depends upon the degree of liver injury. some of the patients will recover after alcohol-related liver injury but in case of severe alcoholic hepatitis, liver transplant may be needed. 

If you want to know more, you can refer the article on Alcohol Liver Disease.

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Q. My wife has issue with abdomen pain & according to Dr the lever is fatty We have done USG of upper & lower abdomen & it shows bit enlargement of lever What shall we do next

If on USG liver is fatty, the Patient should undergo some more blood tests to find the cause and degree of fatty liver. We should also check whether this fatty liver is causing hepatitis or not. Treatment will depend upon finding of these tests. I will suggest you to consult a liver specialist and then further treatment can be started.

Q. I have had high chronic liver enzymes for the past 10 years, and in this time i visited several doctors, some of them diagnosed my condition to be gilbert syndrome. My bilurbin range is 2 to 5 as both direct and indirect, whereas elevated Alt range is 60 to 100, and my Alp remains within the normal range. Hcv pcr is negative, hbv is also negative, wilson disease is negative, and no hemochromatiis has been detected. I had got my ultrasound done in January this year (2021), everything was normal then and my mrcp was fine too. For the past few months my upper right part of the abdomen has been aching, but that happens only when i walk, otherwise i don’t experience any pain at all. Can i know what is the cause of high alt and bilurbin? Do i have some issue related to liver or is it something else?

Gilbert syndrome does not generally cause high Liver enzymes (AST and ALT), it can cause a rise in bilirubin. Secondly, Gilbert syndrome causes only indirect bilirubin to be high and it doesn’t cause pain in the abdomen. Some of ur symptoms don’t match with Gilbert syndrome. Any rise in liver enzymes needs to be thoroughly evaluated. I will suggest you to consult a liver specialist and get evaluated.

Q. I have fever and is also experiencing fatigue. i got my blood tests done and the reports showed raised LFTs, but everything else is fine. there is no cough or shortness of breath, is this something to worry about? What is the cause?

Raised LFT can be due to various reasons. Different values in LFT signify different problems. Plus clinical examination will be helpful. You should see a doctor consultation along with a detailed check-up.