Mom’s liver gives second life to 7-month-old
The girl, Nimisha from Jabalpur, was suffering from biliary atresia, a congenital condition in which the connecting duct between the liver and the intestines is either absent or malformed since birth.
When examined, doctors found Nimisha’s liver was damaged but today , almost a month after the transplant, she is as cheerful and playful as any child of her age.
The girl was operated on July 8 at Sir Ganga Ram hospital (SGRH). Dr Naimish N Mehta, associate director, liver transplantation and consultant surgical gastroente rologist at the hospital, said Nimisha’s mother donated a portion of her liver for the transplant. “We took only a small portion of liver from the mother but even that was too big for Nimisha’s tiny body . The graft had to be reduced to less than half its size to allow it to be transplanted in her body ,“ he said.
According to Dr Nishant Wadhwa, chief pediatric gastroenterologist at SGRH, managing the child’s fluid and nutritional requirement after surgery was another challenge. “Nimisha started cry ing in hunger on the second day after the surgery. It was a major challenge to manage the infant as it required precise regulation of fluid and nutrition. It took 18 days for her to recover completely after which she was discharged,“ he said.
In India, about 3,000 to 4,000 children are born with biliary atresia every year but most die due to a delay in treatment. Doctors say the mortality rate is as high as 80%. Liver transplants have been conducted earlier on infants suffering from this condition but, as medical reports show, the rate of post-surgery survival remains low.
This is why Nimisha’s recovery is remarkable.