Kidney woes take family by storm

By Kushala S, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | May 27, 2015, 04.00 AM IST

Curious case of a group where all members have participated in a transplant process


Last month, when Dr Sankaran Sundar, chief nephrologist at Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, performed a kidney transplant on a young man of 24 years, it was not a mundane procedure for him. It took Dr Sundar back in time, all of 26 years, when he did his very first kidney transplant - on his present patient's maternal uncle. That one, he had performed in a small nursing home ill-equipped to handle such a major operation. The kidney donor then was this young man's father.

Twenty six years hence, a lot has changed. Medical science has made huge strides: there is something called specialisation; and life has become complicated.

The story

When Shekhar donated his kidney to his friend Chander in 1989, little did he know that life would come a full circle and his kids would inherit the gene pool from their maternal side. Shekhar married Chander's sister Sumathi. They have two children who developed kidney complications in their teenage years. While the younger one passed away, Sumathi donated her kidney to their elder son but the transplantation failed. Now, Sumathi's elder sister has donated her kidney to her nephew Ashok (name changed) and the second round of transplantation has been successful.

Recalls Dr Sundar who performed Ashok's renal transplant: ``Back then, 26 years ago, it was my first kidney transplant surgery. Shekhar was the donor and Chander was the recipient. There were few nephrologists, and we used to carry out kidney transplants through Karnataka Nephrology and Transplant Institute. We performed Shekhar and Chander's surgery in Ashok Nursing Home situated in Ulsoor. The nursing home no longer exists. It was a small nursing home and the operation theatre did not even have an oxygen cylinder. The operation was done for free as Shekhar was a Samaritan who had donated his kidney. But what a coincidence, I performed kidney transplantation on Shekhar's son now.''

While Shekhar, who works at the customer care wing of a nationalised bank, has been healthy and doing well with one kidney all these years, his brother-in-law did not pull through for very long - he passed away 15 years after the transplant. But the gene pool affected Shekhar's two sons.

"My younger son who was on dialysis passed away in 2010 when he was only 19 years. His blood pressure shot up and he developed complications. I had got my elder son Ashok checked for kidney function and his creatinine levels were found high. He too had renal failure and was on dialysis,'' says Shekhar.

Meanwhile, Shekhar's wife Sumathi donated her kidney to Ashok in 2013 and the transplant was done at a reputed hospital, which botched up the surgery. As a result, the transplant failed and Ashok was back on dialysis. However, luck smiled on the 24-year-old Ashok who has completed engineering and is looking out for a job. Sumathi's elder sister and Ashok's 54-year-old aunt volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to her nephew.

Twist of fate

* Doctor performed surgery on patient's uncle in a small nursing home ill-equipped to handle
such a major operation 26 years ago. The donor then was this young man's father.

* The patient's maternal uncle was actually his father's friend

*The boy is believed to have inherited the kidney disorder from his uncle

* The boy's brother also had a kidney problem, and had died because of an unsuccessful transplant

Photo credit: Bangalore Mirror

Location Tags:

  • bangalore
  • Karnataka
  • India


  • Renal Transplant
  • Kidney transplant
  • Organ donation


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