Amid lockdown, PGI-Chandigarh conducts kidney transplants

Chandigarh, June 4, 2020-

Lighting up hopes for many, two recipients who got a fresh lease of life after their successful kidney transplant conducted during lockdown were discharged from the PGI Hospital here on Thursday.

“This gift to us is something we couldn’t buy or make. It’s just that — a gift of life. We could not have been luckier. There are no words to convey our thanks to the donor family,” shared the recipients in unison during their discharge from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

The transplant surgery for both the kidney transplants was conducted on May 16 following the compassionate consent of organ donation by the donor family of deceased Naresh Kumar, 50, from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

Post-transplant, both the recipients were kept under observation and were discharged after their successful recovery.

Ashish Sharma, Head of the Department of Renal Transplant Surgery, who spearheaded the procedure, said: “There were challenges involved in doing transplant as the whole region was in a lockdown mode and all elective transplant surgery had been put on hold.

“Special precautions were taken to proceed with the transplant. The deceased donor as well as both recipients were tested and confirmed negative for Covid-19.”

Detailing further about the case, Sharma said: “In the post-operation period, the staff was rostered in such a way that only a limited healthcare workers were in contact with both the recipients and no visitors were allowed.

“Both patients have now recovered after three weeks. The recipients were on dialysis for the last three years. Remaining on dialysis also carries risk of contracting coronavirus as they need to travel to dialysis centres at least twice a week.”

A.K. Gupta, Medical Superintendent-cum-Head of the Department of Hospital Administration, describing the scenario during lockdown, said the PGIMER being overwhelmed with Covid positive patients, introducing those waiting to receive an organ to this environment would not have been ideal.

Expressing his gratitude to the donor family, Gupta added: “Even in the thick of Covid-19, there are families who leave you spellbound with their magnanimity as the family of donor Naresh Kumar, who displayed exemplary benevolence by proactively consenting for the organ donation of their deceased family member.”

“With their selfless gesture, they became instrumental in saving the lives of two terminally ill renal failure patients as PGIMER conducted its first deceased organ transplant during the lockdown.”

Naresh Kumar had suffered a grievous head injury in an accidental fall from height. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital from where he was referred to the PGIMER and was admitted here on May 7.

Since Naresh Kumar had received a fatal head injury, it became evident that his chances of survival were extremely bleak. He died on May 15.

“Everything came crashing down. He went too soon!” said Puneet, son of donor Naresh Kumar.

“My father was known for his large-heartedness. The idea of having a chance to save someone else’s life through organ donation appealed to us. My father definitely would have wanted someone’s father, husband, wife, mother, daughter, or son to have more time to spend with their loved ones,” said Puneet while trying to come to terms with reality.  (Agency)

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