Friday, March 24

Didi beats virus, donates liver, gives fresh lease of life to younger sister

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A 13-year-old girl from Panskura who was suffering from a rare genetic liver disease got a fresh lease of life after a transplant surgery in Delhi. But the tale of the life-saving surgery is woven around nail-biting situations amidst the lockdown and the ongoing Covid crisis as the patient’s elder sister, the donor, had tested positive prior to the procedure. Now out of the crisis, the family is waiting for flight services to resume from Delhi to Kolkata so they can come home.
“The girl had Caroli’s disease, a rare genetic liver condition. What makes this transplant surgery different from others is that the donor is a cured Covid patient. It was also an ABO incompatible transplant where the blood groups of donor and recipient do not match,” said Subhas Gupta of the Max Centre for Liver & Biliary Sciences who conducted the surgery. Gupta is originally from Asansol.

Disha Samanta was rushed to a nursing home in Midnapore in mid-February from where she was shifted to one in Kolkata. When doctors suggested that she needed a transplant, the family booked a flight to Hyderabad, but the girl collapsed at the airport.

“From Kolkata airport, we took her to Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences (IILDS) in Sonarpur, where Dipankar Mandal and his team saved my daughter,” said her father Asim Samanta, an LIC agent.

Disha was admitted to the Liver Foundation Hospital for the next 12 days before they decided to go to Delhi for the transplant. “This is a life-long disease to which transplant is the cure. The family wanted to go to Delhi and we got them connected with Gupta,” said hepatologist Abhjit Chowdhury, secretary, board of governance, IILDS.

Disha’s parents, along with her sister Lisa, 21, flew to Delhi in the first week of March. During the preparation for the surgery, the lockdown was enforced, halting the process. But as Disha was in a serious condition, doctors decided to conduct the surgery on April 15. During the pre-op test, Lisa tested positive for Covid.

“We were losing hope, but Lisa promised that she would beat Covid and come back to save her little sister,” said the girls’ father.

Lisa, a student of microbiology, was admitted to a Delhi hospital where she recovered from Covid. But doctors had to wait for a few more days and finally conducted the surgery on May 20.

Source:Times of India

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