Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, Advanced Multi-Speciality Tertiary Care, successfully performed a liver transplant on a critically ill one-year-old baby in February. He is the smallest baby at 6.5 kgs to have undergone a liver transplant in Maharashtra. The baby’s aunt Divya, donated a part of her liver.
Master Ram Mistry was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease due to a rare congenital condition called Biliary Atresia, which progressed to advanced liver cirrhosis within months of his birth. The parents of the baby, Ishani Mistry, mother and Pritesh Mistry, father are based in Gujarat. Finding a team familiar with transplanting small babies and managing the cost of treatment were the biggest concerns for the Mistrys.
This is when an NGO called ‘Transplants – Help the Poor’ Foundation stepped in. A combination of charitable donations from the above NGO, some funding arranged by the family and crowdfunding through Ketto.com, contributed the bulk of the transplant costs. Contributions from Tata Foundation Trust and a grant from the Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai CSR unit made up the difference, allowing baby Ram to have his life-saving transplant.
Talking about the case, Dr Darius F Mirza, Head, Liver Transplant, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai said, “Biliary atresia is a rare disease in newborns where the liver’s bile ducts are absent and 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 co-operation between NGOs and funding partners, we were able to successfully perform this life-saving surgery. We are happy that baby Ram and his aunt who stepped forward to donate part of her liver are recovering well. Transplantation is all about teamwork and the above example of co-operation of multiple partners can help deliver this essential treatment for our affected children. Our goal is to provide life-saving liver transplantation to all such children, regardless of their family’s ability to afford this treatment.”
Commenting on their experience baby Ram’s Mother said, “Knowing that our child was going through all this at such a tender age was stressful and traumatic. The cost of the surgery was giving us sleepless nights. We are extremely grateful to the doctors and the staff and to all those who came forward to help us through their donations and contributions. Today, our child is alive due to all their efforts. I am indebted to my sister who came forward to donate a part of her liver. I wish and pray for her speedy recovery.”
Dr Narendra Trivedi, CEO, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, said, “I am glad that we could save the life of an infant through this complex surgery. The gesture of his aunt coming forward to donate part of her liver is admirable. Not many know this, but liver is the only organ that grows by itself, even after having donated a part of it. As part of our CSR initiative, we subsidized the treatment and also thank the donors for their contributions, in saving the life of a 1-year- old baby.”
Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai has performed 6 liver transplants in children (of which four received financial help) since the inception of the transplant program in 2017 and is the first hospital in the city to offer this service for very small children.