ON MONDAY afternoon, 34-year-old Kuldeep Singh (name changed) received a call from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), asking him to bring his bed-ridden wife to the institute for lung transplant. A day later, Singh’s wife became the first person to undergo the lung transplant at a government hospital in the country.
Singh, a daily wager, maintains that due to his poor financial condition, it was impossible for him to get the transplant conducted at any private institute. His wife, suffering from end-stage lung disease, was continuously on oxygen supply.
“I received a call to bring my wife to the hospital for the operation. We reached here at 8 pm on Monday and she was then taken to the operation theatre. At 4 pm on Tuesday, doctors told me that the operation is successful,” Singh told Chandigarh Newsline. “I am relieved now. I used to pay Rs 700 per day for her treatment. I am hopeful now the situation will change for good.”
Singh’s two children — 15-year-old boy and 12-year-daughter — who are back home at Sangrur are waiting for their mother to return. “Today I called home and informed them that operation has been conducted successfully. I told my family members to visit gurdwara and pray that she (wife) regains consciousness soon,” Singh said.
The recipient of the transplant, doctors said, was diagnosed with lung disease in 2015 and was initially taken to a local hospital in Patiala. She was brought to PGI in February 2016 and since then she had been receiving treatment at the institute. A month ago, Singh was told that his wife required a transplant.
Singh said he would contact the donor’s family to express his gratitude. “My family will always be indebted to them (donor family). We don’t know the family members, but I will soon meet them to say thanks on behalf of my family,” he said.
The donor of the lung transplant was 22-year-old youth from Punjab, who was declared brain-dead by PGI on Monday night. “We decided to donate [his] organs because it would save lives of other patients,” said Jupinder Singh, a close relative of the donor.