After her 28th birthday, Bhakti Prakash Bahirwani started feeling lethargic and uneasy, and noticed a slight yellowing of her eyes. A range of events that followed turned her life upside down leading to chronic liver cirrhosis and receiving a liver transplant from a cadaver. A delay in the diagnosis has made Bhakti face complications.
Bhakti was born in India and spent most of her lives in Dubai along with her mother, a younger brother and a sister. After some days of noticing darker yellow eyes in August last year, she visited a homeopathy doctor, where she was diagnosed with jaundice. Her blood tests showed elevated levels of liver enzymes; bilirubin at 5.26 (maximum should be 1). She was given medicines and followed up. But, the yellowness kept increasing and the tests were redone. The test results showed worse signs of polyop in her gall bladder and higher liver enzymes and bilirubin. She was advised to be hospitalized.
‘The delay in the diagnosis and negligence in the healthcare had created a big havoc in Bhaktis life.’
Bhakti kept shuttling between different hospitals and clinics where the doctors were'nt able to figure out what's wrong in her and also faced issues waiting for the insurance approval. She was also fed with inappropriate diet for her disease, like pasta, desserts and fried cutlet, etc. during her hospitalization. She experienced loss of appetite, was constipated, very sensitive to light and faced severe headaches.
It was in mid-September, a doctor from a clinic noticed fluid retention in her abdomen and her bilirubin was 25 and INR (liver function test) was 3.8 (both should be less than 1). "I was rushed to a hospital again where the gastroenterologist said that he suspected acute liver failure." Bhakti was sent to India that very night. "I thought that this will be the end to my misery and I will be back home in two weeks. Little did I know that this was only the beginning and worst was yet to come."
Her bilirubin soared up to 31 and INR 6.5 indicating an immediate liver transplant. By December end, she was diagnosed with a serious case of chronic liver cirrhosis. "Doctors had given up on any hope of my survival unless I'd find a cadaveric liver in time." Says Bhakti.
She had put on 35kg due to increased edema, had darken skin, lost her hair and had bed sores, while the INR increased to 8.5, hemoglobin reduced to 4.5 and also had internal bleeding. She was put on top priority list for a liver transplant and received a cadaveric liver on January 30 this year, from a 28-year old man in Coimbatore.
She flew back to Dubai in April and is on immune-suppressants. She experience pain in her joints and also have finger deformities. "I am asked to take a set of tests every month and send the reports back to India, based on which my medication would be adjusted," explains Bhakti.
"I'm really saddened to see negligence in healthcare and on the part of insurance in Dubai. My life flipped and I will never be the same as I was," she says.