A one-year-old Pakistani boy has undergone a successful liver transplant in a New Delhi hospital, becoming the youngest ever such recipient in India , said doctors here Wednesday.
Shreyar, who is from Karachi, underwent the over eight-hour-long liver transplant surgery on June 19 at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here. He was discharged on July 21, doctors at the private hospital said.
"Shreyar is now completely cured. He has become the youngest kid to undergo a complete liver transplant in India," said B.K. Rao, chairman of the hospital's board.
A.S. Soin, leading liver transplant surgeon who had conducted the surgery on Shreyar, said: "The child was born with biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile ducts of the liver (responsible for draining the bile produced in the liver into the intestinal tract for digestion) are under-developed. The problem causes jaundice, pale stools and lack of digestion soon after birth."
"The damaged liver of the child was replaced by a portion of his grandmother's liver. He is now absolutely fine," Soin told reporters.
Another doctor, Neelam Mohan, said that Shreyar had undergone an operation in Pakistan when he was three months old, but it was unsuccessful.
"The next few months were miserable for the infant - his physical growth was retarded. When he came to our hospital, his weight was just six kg. We worked on his health and after six weeks his weight was increased to over nine kg - which is what it was at the time of operation," Mohan told IANS.
She said the portal vein responsible for supplying blood to the liver was "irreparably blocked", which caused them a lot of problems during the surgery. The blockage was rectified by the doctors, she said.
Shreyar has been told to take two medicines all his life, which most liver transplant patients are recommended.
The total cost of the one-month package, including surgery, worked out to Rs.1.2 million, which doctors said is at least six times cheaper than what is charged in many other countries.
The parents of Shreyar said they were grateful to the doctors, the people in Delhi and to Allah for the success of their son's operation. They had arrived in India on April 29.
"Another child, Safi, from Lahore, had undergone a successful surgery in Sir Ganga Ram a few months ago and their family told us about their experience. This gave us the courage to come to India," said Arshad Hussain, Shreyar's father, a businessman.
"The doctors at the hospital are very good, and the people in Delhi are quite helpful. A lot of people here prayed for Shreyar's early recovery. We will never forget the good experience here and are going to tell people in Karachi about it," Hussain told IANS.
The boy's grandmother Nasreen Fatimma, who works at a bank, had donated 25 percent of her liver for the transplant. She said she had not faced any problems in India. "Since both our countries share a common civilisation and there is a lot of semblance in food, way of life and language, we never faced any kind of inconvenience."
With the operation and the troubles over, the family has managed to do some shopping - jewellery and fabrics - and take a "joyride on the Delhi Metro".
The family expects to head back home in a couple of weeks along with a healthy Shreyar and happy memories.