In one of the youngest liver transplant operations in the state, a 13-month-old baby from Gujarat was transplanted with a liver, donated by his aunt, in Navi Mumbai after visits to several hospitals in home town failed to treat him of liver cirrhosis that caused rapid rise in bilirubin levels in his body.
Ram Mistry, now one year and three months old, was discharged last week after a month-long hospitalisation following liver transplant, donated by his paternal aunt Divya Paresh Sidpapra (34) in a surgery done at Apollo Hospital in Belapur. “When he was six days old, he contracted jaundice. Doctors told us that it is normal for newborns and he will get alright.
But his condition worsened,” said Divya, a resident of Valsad.
When Ram was two months’ old, doctors diagnosed that a bile duct below his liver was unable to transport bile. He suffered from congenital defect, biliary atresia. “He would eat anything and vomit,” said his 27-year-old mother Ishani Mistry, a housewife.
The family lives in Padra town near Baroda. They visited Ahmedabad civil hospital for a surgery to join liver and bile duct. By June 2017, few months after the surgery, Ram’s condition deteriorated. His jaundice relapsed and bilirubin levels shot up.
“Biliary atresia is a rare disease in newborns where the liver’s bile ducts are absent and requires early surgical correction, which only works in 40 per cent of cases. In this case, the transplant was needed very early in life,” said Dr Darius Mirza, liver transplant surgeon.
The condition can lead to liver cirrhosis, as bile cannot flow into intestine and collects in liver, damaging it. Ram was brought to Maharashtra and the family approached various trusts for financial aid. His father Pritesh Mistry provides construction machines on rent for a living.
The baby’s family crowdfunded for his surgery. The total cost touched Rs 22 lakh. Doctors first increased his weight to make him suitable for the surgery. When he touched 6.5 kgs, a transplant operation was carried out.
“I was scared throughout his treatment. He is our first child. But since a month, he is able to eat food properly and his growth has become proper. He has also started teething,” said his mother, adding that they will require regular follow-ups to monitor his condition.