Fourteen-month-old Somanth Shah became Gujarat’s youngest donor to have donated his heart and kidneys giving two people a new lease of life. Somnath’s heart was harvested on Tuesday in three and a half year old Aaradhya Muley whose ‘Save Aaradhya’ campaign gained popularity in Mumbai and Pune this year. His kidneys will be harvested at Ahmedabad based Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre (IKDRC) in a few hours from now.
Somnath belonged to Mubarakpur village in Siswan district Bihar. His father Sunil had moved to Surat a few months back and was working as a supervisor in a powerloom factory in Udhna area of Surat. On September 2, around 7.00 pm little Somnath who was playing near his house with his elder sister Kusum, fell down the stairs and hit his head. He became unconscious and his parents rushed him to a doctor. On the doctors’ instructions they took the child to the New Civil hospital in Surat.
“Doctors told us that he had a brain haemorrhage and multiple fractures in the skull. We were called to the hospital and asked to speak to the family. Besides working on organ donation we also double up as counselors for families who lose their dear ones. Somnath was declared brain dead on Sunday night after which we explained organ donation to them,” said Nilesh Mandlewala, president of Surat based Donate life, an initiative for organ donation. “We first had sessions with the men of the family and then with the women. Finally on the evening of 4th September they agreed and we started the process of finding the recipients,” added Nilesh.
“My son was playing outside the house in veranda when he reached for the stairs and fell. A CT scan at the New Civil hospital revealed that he was brain dead. We are deeply pained as Somnath was our only son. After the counselors explained to us about the importance of organ donation we agreed . If the life of another child can be saved because of our son then what can be greater. We are proud about our decision,” said Sunil Sah in a telephone conversation with The Indian Express. (Civil hospital Surat authorities have written Somnath’s surname as Shah in the files and report but his family say their surname is Sah)
The process of transporting the heart from Surat to Mumbai started at 7.30 am on Tuesday. Doctors of Mumbai based Fortis Hospital at Mulund arrived at the Surat airport at 7.45 am and BY 7.55 am they were on their way back to the Surat airport with little Somnath’s heart. By 8.40 am the team landed in Mumbai and made their way to the hospital. By 9.00 am the heart transplant process started.
The heart was harvested in 3 and a half year old Aaradhya Muley who was suffering from viral myocarditis for over a year. “She is critical but stable. It is very difficult to gauge a patient on the first day of such a massive transplant. So far things are good. Aaradhya is in the ICU and for the next 24 hours we cannot say how thing will turn out. We are hoping for the best,” said Dr Swati Garekar, pediatric cardiologist at Fortis hospital.
“Aaradhya’s condition was not a birth defect. We ran many tests on her .She would be hospitalized every week. She has a large heart and the pumping rate was slow. The cause of her disorder was viral infection or what we call viral myocarditis. We hope she bounces back soon and lives her life,” said Dr Swati in a telephone conversation with The Indian Express.
Somnath’s kidneys arrived at IKDRC around noon. “We are in the process of finding a match for the kidneys. We plan to harvest both the kidneys in one child as these are very small kidneys. We will start the harvesting process soon. As far as I know Somnath is our youngest kidney donor ,” said Dr Jamal Rizvi , Urologist at IKDRC.