Life has been better after kidney transplant,says Dolma Bhutti

NearlyY a year after a row over her nationality was resolved after the High Court stepped in leading to a team of PGI doctors successfully performing a kidney transplant surgery on her,Dolma Bhutti,a 24-year-old Tibet national,is leading a normal and healthy life and looking forward to be a beautician.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published: June 17, 2013 2:05 am

NearlyY a year after a row over her nationality was resolved after the High Court stepped in leading to a team of PGI doctors successfully performing a kidney transplant surgery on her,Dolma Bhutti,a 24-year-old Tibet national,is leading a normal and healthy life and looking forward to be a beautician.

She is currently working as a help in the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV),Dharamsala,which is an integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile.

Not keen to go to school,Dolma wants to do a beautician course. With her parents and her sister in Tibet,Dolma is putting up in Dharamsala with her friend. Talking to The Indian Express on the phone,Dolma,who understands Hindi a little,said: “Life has been better after the kidney transplant. I feel much better,there is not much to worry now.”

Why a beautician? Dolma says if she is able to get training in this stream,she will be able to earn a job anywhere,be it India or abroad. She visits PGI after every three months for a review. She had come to PGI last month for a review. “Sometimes there is little pain in my chest but then it is fine. Doctors say I am in good shape,” she said.

Arrived in India in 2001,Dolma was struggling for life as she had to undergo a kidney transplant but her surgery got stuck in legal wrangles. In the absence of any organ policy on Tibetans,PGI initially refused to perform the surgery demanding consent certificates from the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Himachal Pradesh government to carry out the transplantation.

Being a Tibet national,the go-ahead was required from the Tibetan government. To add more trouble,the consent of Himachal Pradesh government was also necessary as the donor,Nawang Choeden,30,a Tibetan refugee,was state domiciled.

In her early twenties,Dolma had developed nephrotic syndrome and according to doctors,only kidney transplantation could have saved her life. Buddhist monk Choeden,who was also living with Dolma,had offered to donate her kidney purely on humanitarian grounds and both of them had approached PGI for transplantation operation in May but their request was rejected,citing the legal problems.

Aggrieved,Dolma had to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court in June last year requesting the court to direct PGI to perform the surgery. Expressing deep concern,the High Court had sought response from both the governments and directed PGI,on July 20,to immediately perform the transplant.

Justice Mahesh Grover of the High Court had ordered that “it has further been stated by the counsel for the PGIMER that the petitioner (Dolma Bhutti) shall now be subjected to surgical procedure as per her turn,as there is a waiting list for such like patients. On due consideration of the matter,I am of the opinion that since the necessary approvals have been granted,this has rendered the instant petition infructuous. The same is therefore,disposed of as such. However,a direction is issued to PGIMER to evaluate the medical condition of the petitioner so that she does not suffer any serious consequences on account of the delay in surgical procedure”.

Problems for Dolma did not end here. It was only in the second week of September last year that necessary tests were performed on her and the donor which testified that Bhutti’s tissues matched with that of her donor’s. Finally,a surgery was performed on September 13 last year. After remaining in the hospital for a couple of weeks,Dolma was discharged.

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