A 1 year old toddler, Ram Mistry from Gujarat, who was in immediate need of a new liver, underwent a successful liver transplant surgery in Navi Mumbai’s Apollo hospital. The reason for the immediate need for a new liver was because the baby suffered from a rare congenital condition called biliary atresia which progressed to advanced liver cirrhosis within months of his birth. The mother, Ishani Mistry said, “Initially, no doctors in Vadodara could diagnose my baby’s disease. A pediatrician was finally able to diagnose Ram when he was two months old, after which he underwent a Kasai procedure.”
Despite the not so helpful advice from their relatives, the family turned a deaf to them and did what they felt was right. They started to look for donors. Ishani said, “My baby needs me every minute, so I couldn’t donate. So my sister, Divya, decided to be the donor for my child.” She even added that finding a medical team familiar with transplants for babies and managing the treatment cost were their biggest concerns.
After doing some research online, the mother came to know about an NGO called ‘Transplants – Help the Poor Foundation’. “This foundation led us to Apollo. We started visiting doctors at Apollo from July 2017, and the surgery took place in February this year,” she said.
With assistance from the NGO, Tata Foundation Trust, and Apollo Hospitals, the funding was arranged by the family and crowd-funding through Ketto.com contributed to help with the transplant costs.
Dr. Darius F. Mirza, head, liver transplant, Apollo Hospitals, said, “Biliary atresia is a rare disease in newborns where the liver’s bile ducts are absent. It requires early surgical correction, which only works in 40% of cases. In this case, the transplant was needed very early in life. Thanks to the initiative shown by the family and the cooperation between NGOs and funding partners, we were able to successfully perform this life-saving surgery. We are happy that baby Ram and his aunt are recovering well. Our goal is to provide life-saving liver transplantation to all such children, regardless of their family’s ability to afford this treatment.”