Somnath Shah from Surat, barely 14 months old, became Gujarat’s youngest donor to have given a new lease of life two people. Somnath’s heart was harvested on Tuesday and was transplanted in Aaradhya Muley, a 3 year old girl child in Mumbai. Shah kidneys were harvested at the Kidney Diseases and Research Centre (IKDRC) in Ahmedabad.
Originally hailing from Mubarakpur village in Bihar’s Siswan district, Somnath’s family moved to Surat a few months back as his father had started working as a supervisor in a powerloom factory. On September 2, Somnath was playing with his elder sister when he fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head grievously. His parents rushed him to Surat’s New Civil Hospital.
According to Nilesh Mandlewala, president of Surat based Donate life, an initiative for organ donation:
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.
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.
In a telephone conversation, a bereaved Sunil Sah, Somnath’s father, told the media:
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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.
Doctors from Fortis Hospital Mulund, Mumbai arrived at the Surat Airport at 7:45 AM, from where they collected little Somnath’s heart, and were en route to Mumbai by 7:55 AM. The team landed in Mumbai at 8:40 AM, from where they made their journey to the Fortis Hospital without any delay. By 9 AM, the heart transplant process had got started.
The heart was transplanted in 3-and-a-half year old Aaradhya Muley, who was suffering from viral myocarditis for over a year. After a successful transplantation, the pediatric cardiologist of the Fortis Hospital, Dr. Swati Garekar said:
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 things will turn out. We are hoping for the best.
Dr. Garekar further said:
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 but 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.
Somnath’s kidneys arrived at Ahmedabad’s IKDRC on the same day at noon. According to Dr Jamal Rizvi , Urologist at IKDRC:
We are in the process of finding a match for the kidneys. We plan to transplant both the kidneys in one child as these are very small kidneys. We will start the process soon. As far as I know Somnath is our youngest kidney donor.