12-year-old awaits kidney donor

Child is on dialysis but cant hope to survive long without transplant

 A 12-year-old boy is struggling for life at All India Institute of Medical Sciences with both the kidneys damaged. Since last Monday, his life has become depended on regular dialysis. In absence of a donated kidney, it will be tough for him to survive for long.

This brings home the issue of importance of organ donation of brain dead people, which is very low in India.

Sarvesh Tiwari was born with problem in one of the kidneys. The valve in the kidney was too small to process all the functions properly. This put more pressure on the other kidney, in turn damaging it also.

Resident of Gonda in Uttar Pradesh, Sarvesh was taken to many private and public doctors in Lucknow. He received temporary relief there, but could not be full cured.
He was brought to AIIMS in 2009 and the doctor said it was too late for treatment.

 The nine-year-old was recommended for kidney transplant. Kidney from the close family members did not match. Sarvesh’s blood group is A+, while his mother’s is B+ and father’s is AB+. Other close relatives also did not have matching blood group.

“Since then, we have been looking for a kidney for the child. I have gone to organ banks of many hospitals, but no one responded positively,” said Sushil Tiwari, Sarvesh’s father. The child’s grandfather has the same blood group, but is too old to donate a kidney.

According to law, only a close family member can donate an organ to avoid organ trade. Other than that, a brain dead person’s organs can be utilised if retrieved within hours. But organ donation does not have many takers in India. Families of a deceased person are not ready to donate organs on emotional or religious grounds.

“We are trying to promote organ donation. But still very few cadaver donations happen. When a patient is brain dead, it is tough to convince families to donate body parts,” said Dr Aarti Vij, head, Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation, AIIMS.

She also said organs have to be retrieved within a few hours after heart stops. This is not easy to manage. Sarvesh was brought to the paediatrics department on November 19 after he complained of vomiting 10-15 times a day for three days. His report says that his abdomen was aching for the past two months.

“The doctor immediately put him on dialysis. So far functions of his kidney could be managed through medication,” said Sushil.  But he is worried about leaving the hospital. “We will have to take the dialysis machine on rent which costs Rs 10,000 a month.

Including other charges of medicine and chemical to be used, it will be Rs 25,000,” said Sushil.

He said the family cannot afford the monthly recurring amount, as education of two younger siblings of Sarvesh also need to be managed.

“The main issue is of uncertainty. We do not even know for how long we will have to do this,” said Sushil.

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