Daughter Travels Over 7000 Miles During The Pandemic To Donate Her Liver To Save Her Ailing Father

~ Doctors at Gleneagles Global Health City saved the life of a 59 year old man, a resident of Puducherry

Puducherry, 16th April 2021: Gleneagles Global Health City (GGHC), Chennai, India’s preferred destination for liver transplants, successfully treated a 59 year old man with help of his daughter’s liver who travelled from Canada to save the life of her father.

Mr. Rozario, a 59 year old man who works for a book publishing company suffered from decompensated chronic liver disease for more than 2 years. Due to his medical condition, he had accumulation of fluid in his chest (pleural effusion) and severe breathing issues for which he underwent repeated sessions of ultra sound guided chest fluid aspiration (withdrawal of fluid from the chest) at a secondary care hospital in Puducherry. As a result of repeated fluid aspiration, he gradually lost his muscle mass from the whole body (sarcopenia) and experienced a major weight loss of up to 20 kgs.

Towards the end of 2020, the patient had came to GGHC for treatment. The team of doctors evaluated his condition after diagnostics and provided the patient with initial supportive care and also informed him the need for early liver transplant. Since his wife was not medically fit and had no support from relatives, the patient’s daughter Ms. Kathleen Mary (24 years old) was the only potential donor, who is currently studying in Canada and she had expressed her willingness to donate. In spite of facing various difficulties to travel to India because of pandemic, she managed to reach the hospital on time for the transplantion. After initial donor evaluation, the live donor liver transplantation was successfully performed on the patient.

Dr. Joy Varghese, Director – Hepatology & Transplant Hepatology, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai says, “There is a common misconception that jaundice would always precede a liver failure but this is not true in all the cases. In this case, the patient did not suffer from Jaundice (serum bilirubin was < 1.5 milligram %). However, he suffered from advanced liver failure (approx. > 90% of liver cells were dead) that cause frequent fluid accumulation in the chest. Without liver transplantation, over the period of time, patients would either become wheelchair bound or bed ridden. Hence, a transplantation using a living donor is preferred as a waiting for cadaver organ would take more than months. Also, during the pandemic, there was a 60% reduction in availability of organs and therefore in recent times, living donor transplant has become more ideal for faster and quicker recovery of patients. Over the last one year, we have observed an increase in number of patients with chronic liver conditions owing to high consumption of alcohol, Hepatitis B infection and fatty liver diseases. Almost 95% of our patients from Puducherry, seek medical help only at the final stage of deterioration in their liver condition and ignore their early symptoms. It is important for awareness to be created on chronic liver conditions and the requirement for early medical intervention to avoid complexity in health conditions. The costs for treatment of liver-related conditions and liver transplant have drastically come down over the last few years and patients should not avoid visiting hospitals”

“Since the patient was totally malnourished due to his medical condition, it was a grave challenge to manage immediate post-operative care. Most of the malnourished patients suffer from respiratory muscle atrophy, hence it is challenging to cut off from ventilator support especially for those patients who undergo major surgeries such as liver transplantation” adds Dr. Selvakumaran Malleshwaran, HOD – Liver, HPB Anesthesia & Liver Intensive Care, Gleneagles Global Health City.

Adding further, Dr. Srinivas Reddy, Director – Department of Liver Transplant & Liver Surgery and Dr. Rajanikanth Patcha, Clinical Lead – Liver Transplant & HPB Surgery said, “The risk quotient for performing this surgery was very high owing to his malnourishment. It was important for the patient to undergo the surgery at the earliest which could only be made possible through the arrival of his daughter from Canada on time. After the completion of the surgery, both the patient and his daughter are doing well and have recovered completely. After one month of completion of transplantation, we had repeated an abdomen scan for the donor and noticed 100% regeneration of the liver. Donor is now fit to travel back to Canada to pursue her education”

Praising the team on the accomplishment of the case, Dr. Alok Khullar, CEO, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai said, “Living donor liver transplantations are highly challenging during the pandemic due to the infection risk. Through adequate precautionary measures and constant monitoring by an expert team of doctors, the team at GGHC successfully performed the surgery with aid of our advanced technologies and facilities. Like Mr.Rozario, it is heart-warming to note that many people of Puducherry are choosing GGHC as their preferred hospital for medical treatment. Our quaternary care centre and expertise, especially for a liver failure condition will help in facilitating live liver transplantation even in highly complex case.”