Successful liver transplant of Zimbabwean boy at a Gurugram hospital

A five-year-old kid, Leon Tadiswa, from Zimbabwe who was suffering from respiratory failure as a result of oxygen bypassing his lungs got a successful liver transplant at Gurugram’s Artemis Hospital.

He began to experience symptoms like as repeated chest infections, pneumonia, breathing difficulties, weight loss, and jaundice. In October 2021, Leon was diagnosed with hepatopulmonary syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the lungs of those with advanced liver disease. The doctors discovered that the child had liver cirrhosis and high blood pressure in the vein leading to the liver (portal hypertension).

His blood was not saturated with oxygen and was bypassing the capillaries of his lungs.

As a result, Leon required oxygen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The condition was so severe that he had to carry an oxygen cylinder with him at all times, including while walking, sleeping, eating, using the restroom, and even eating. Every day, Leon needed 10 litres of oxygen delivered to him. The child’s parents hurried him to Artemis Hospital for treatment as soon as Covid restrictions on international travel were lifted.

Dr Giriraj Bora, Dr Prabhat Maheshwari, Chief of Neonatal & Paediatric Critical Care, Dr Sakshi Karkra, Head of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Dr Shyam Sunder Mahansaria, Sr. Consultant of Liver Transplant & Gastrointestinal Surgery, and Dr Rajesh Mishra, Chairperson Anaesthesia led a team of surgeons to successfully complete the liver transplant surgery.

When the patient arrived, the physicians opted to utilise a sophisticated ventilator to provide nitric oxide to prevent the child’s blood oxygen levels from falling anymore. The cost every day for this was Rs 1 lakh, which the family could not afford, so, the hospital management gladly stepped in and provided financial assistance to the family on a humanitarian basis for the full 14-day period during which the boy required the gas to stabilise and maintain his oxygen levels. The liver was donated by the child’s maternal uncle, who is 53 years old.

Dr Bora said, “When the patient visited us for an initial checkup, he needed to be administered 10 litres of oxygen every minute to survive. After the transplant, Leon is now completely off the oxygen cylinder and is breathing effortlessly. He can now lead a normal life like any other kid of his age. Leon will remain on drugs to suppress his immune system and prevent rejection of the liver by his body, but the dose will decrease over time.”

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