Friday, August 19, 2016

Sisters' gift of life to brothers on Rakhi

Rakshabandhan, Jayanti Gili and T Sunitha gave a gift of life to their brothers ailing with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Gili, 39, a resident of Puri in Odisha and Sunitha, 35, a resident of Jammikunta in Karimnagar district, tied rakhis to their younger brothers - Mahesham Biswal, 36, a railway employee and T Swamy , 30 - in two city hospitals.

Doctors, interestingly also found that the two donors and recipients had a 100% tissue match -a rare phenomenon -that's said to increase the lifespan of kidney in the recipient when compared to a kidney obtained from an unrelated or cadaveric donor.

"It is not necessary that the kidney donor and recipient tissue should match before transplantation. However, it helps us to predict the lifespan of the donated kidney in the recipient," said Dr B Vijay Kiran, assistant professor of nephrology at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (Nims).

For Sunita and Swamy, it was a routine visit to Nims on Rakshabandhan for evaluation after kidney transplant in May .

The same was the case with Jayanti Gili and Mahesham Biswal siblings. Both married, Jayanti came along with her brother Mahesham and husband Jaya Krishna Gili to Kims to undergo mandatory pre-operative tests ahead of the transplant surgery in a day .

"My wife Jayanti is the perfect donor for her brother Mahesham as their tissue matches 100%," said Jaya Krishna Gili, husband of Jayanti, who took out time from her preoperative tests to tie a Rakhi to her brother in the hospital on Thursday .

Inside the Nims's Kidney Transplant Unit, there's also kidney recipient Yaka Swamy , 32, and his donor-sister Yaka Lakshmi, 30, residents of Warangal, both of who renewed their Rakshabandhan bond on Thursday , a couple of days post the transplant.

"Though one of my parents volunteered to donate their kidneys, they were ruled out by doctors because of their diabetic condition," said Lakshmi, who donated her kidney to her brother.

Incidentally, the kidney transplant records in both Kims and Nims are literal repository of shining example of sisters' abiding love for their brothers.

While Kims hospital reports 88 cases of sisters saving the lives of their brothers by donating kidney since 2003, Nims records show 34 such cases since 2011, but comparatively , the records are poor when it is seen the other way round. For instance, Kims reports only 12 cases of brothers donating kidneys to their sisters during the same period but experts are quick to point out it does not mean women do not suffer from ESRD.

"ESRD is equally distributed between men and women but due to economic reasons, the trend shows mostly men as recipients," explained Dr P Vikrant Reddy , senior consultant nephrologist, Care Hospitals, Banjara Hills. However, there are also rare instances of even unmarried brothers like J Mahesh, 34, a resident of Renigunta near Tirupati, turning kidney donor for his married elder sister C Aruna, who had to undergo a transplant as she was suffering from ESRD.

"My brother gave me a second life by donating his kidney and sacrificed his job too for me. I am sure he would be back on his feet very soon," said a beaming Aruna.

But despite their sacrifices, misconceptions about kidney donations ensure that such unmarried donors are known to face hurdles especially when it comes to getting a match.

"The society needs to correct its views as a healthy kidney donor is equally fit like any other normal person to have a family life. If such prospective groom or bride has any doubts about marrying a kidney donor, they should get their doubts clarified from a nephrologist," said Dr VS Reddy , consultant nephrologist, Kims.

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