Man who received kidney becomes donor 8 years later

Doctors term it a rare case

In what is considered a rare medical case, a recipient of a kidney eight years ago turned a donor himself by passing the organ on to a third person.

Ramkumar (name changed), a government employee who suffered from a chronic kidney disease when he was 58, received a kidney from his 62-year-old brother.

During evaluation at the hospital, it was found that the brother’s kidney was a 100% genetic match for Ramkumar, which meant the recipient needed minimum immunosuppression, despite the donated kidney being a foreign body.  

Ramkumar had a successful kidney transplant in 2010 at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals. He recovered completely and did not require dialysis. He diligently complied with the follow-up and took all precautions to ensure his donated kidney functioned normally.

Ramkumar retired from service and adopted a more relaxed lifestyle that included morning and evening walks. He even rode a scooter.

Just as things were going well for Ramkumar, he had a bad fall from his vehicle in June. After getting home, he complained of a sharp headache and later suffered a cardiac arrest. He was declared brain-dead at the BGS Hospital, where he suffered an intracerebral haemorrhage (bleed inside the brain).

Though shattered by the news of his death, Ramkumar’s family wanted to share the gift of life by means of transplantation, just the way he was given a new lease of life eight-and-a-half years ago. They wanted to offer the single functioning kidney as donation.

This was not without challenges. Ramkumar’s kidney was not his own and so transplantation seemed unlikely. Besides the risk of retrieving the donated kidney, Ramkumar fell in the category of an “extended criteria donor” or a donor who is over 60 years.

As the kidney would be transplanted for a second time, the family wanted it to go to a senior citizen aged over 65. Accordingly, it was successfully given to a 68-year-old man.

Dr Narendra S (chief transplant surgeon) and his team of surgeons at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals transplanted the same kidney twice.

“Though cases of a kidney being transplanted twice have been reported a few times from other countries, this is the first time in India where a recipient has become a donor,” Dr Narendra said.

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Man who received kidney becomes donor 8 years later

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