(From left to right in the photo) Dr. Saumil Gaur, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist , Donor – Krishnappa, Daughter – Deepika and Dr. Sanjay Rao – Senior Consultant Paediatric Transplant Surgeon
Narayana Health City celebrated the ‘International Day of Girl Child’ by sharing some very inspiring stories of families that have come forward to save their daughters suffering from life threatening conditions. Expert transplant surgeons from Narayana Health City highlighted the positive impact being put in by parents, grand-parents to save their precious girl child. Star of the celebration was a 12-year-old girl Deepika, who underwent a kidney transplant with the organ, donated by her father.
Born to gardener parents, Deepika is the youngest of the three siblings. She was an active school going girl till last year, until she fell sick with a serious health condition. Initially it was diagnosed as Anemia but her condition steadily deteriorated as the local doctors who were consulted were unable to identify the real problem. Deepika was brought to Narayana Health City earlier this year and investigations revealed, she was suffering from Juvenile Nephronophthisis, a common genetic cause of childhood kidney failure.
Children with Congenital Kidney Disease (CKD) are either born with a damaged kidneys or they can develop it due blockage in the urinary tract. Unfortunately, due to the delay in accurate diagnosis Deepika’s condition had advanced to renal failure and the only option left to save her life was a kidney transplant. Devastated by the diagnosis her parents despite the financial challenges decided to do every possible bit to save their daughter’s life. Her 59 year old father was declared fit and willingly donated his kidney to save his 12 year old daughter’s life. He continues to do his gardening work without any health problem.
Commenting on the case, Dr. Saumil Gaur, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at Narayana Health City said, “Congenital Kidney Disease (CKD) refers to a condition related to irreversible kidney damage that can further progress to end-stage renal disease. Growth in these children is often slowed and they suffer from associated morbidities like anemia, hypertension, liver ailments and intellectual disability. Sadly in India, little or no awareness exists about CKD and there is a dire need to educate the parents. With timely diagnosis and treatment the disease progression can be slowed down.”
“Deepika’s case is an eye opener and an exemplary example of a family’s commitment towards their daughter. Treatment of CKD requires huge amount of emotional and financial support; this also poses a challenge as often it is seen that parents are restrained about offering quality care if it’s a girl child,” Dr. Gaur further added.
Success rate of liver and kidney transplants in pediatrics cases is very encouraging, in fact younger the patient, better the expected outcome. For young patients with life threatening diseases, transplants are fast emerging as a preferred option as they can look forward to a healthy and disease free life.
Talking about transplants among children, Dr. Sanjay Rao – Senior Consultant Paediatric Transplant Surgeonsaid, “Often symptoms in congenital abnormalities do not surface till later years of the first decade. While disease management with medication can help for a few years, in most cases a transplant is inevitable. Gender of a child should not be a deciding factor for access to quality treatment. With timely intervention these children stand a remarkable chance of resuming a normal life, going to school and pursuing their dreams. We are happy that there are more and more parents like Deepika’s who are leaving no stone unturned to save their precious daughter’s life. We have successfully performed kidney and liver transplants on children at Narayana Health City, of which 21 are little girls.”
Sharing his experience, Deepika’s father said, “Being a donor match meant I had the ability to gift my daughter a second life. It is hard for a parent to see their child in agony and it doesn’t matter if it is a girl or a boy.”
The Pediatric Transplant team at Narayana Health City in Bangalore has performed 55 liver transplants and 4 kidney transplants since the last three years, of which parents were the donors in 48 cases. The results have been very encouraging and at par with most major centers around the world.
Fact Check – Liver and Kidney Transplants
· Since 2011, 4 pediatric kidney transplants were done of which 3 were on little girls at Narayana Health City
· a child above 4-years of age and weighing more than 15kgs of body weight can undergo kidney transplant
· A child always does not require a kidney from a child, an adult can also donate the kidney
· 18 liver transplants were successfully performed on little girls at Narayana Health City
· Out of the 55 liver transplant cases performed, parents had been the donors in 45 cases at Narayana Health City
· In liver transplants, most children have been less than 10kg in weight on whom the transplants were performed
· The life of the donors will remain the same even after donation
· Mother, father and grandparents are best candidates for donation & they ensure a successful transplant