Six-month-old baby undergoes liver transplant in Chennai hospital

Bhutanese family raised treatment expenses through crowdfunding; mother donated a portion of her liver

Updated - June 11, 2024 10:36 am IST

Published - June 10, 2024 10:00 pm IST - CHENNAI 

A six-month-old baby from Bhutan, suffering from biliary atresia, recently underwent liver transplant at a city hospital. She has since been discharged and is doing well now. 

The baby’s mother donated a portion of her liver. The baby had been suffering from jaundice since birth and her condition worsened. She became bloated, dull and irritable and was brought to Gleneagles Health City, here, in a critical condition.  

When the doctors explained the child’s condition, the mother volunteered to donate, and the family sources organised funds through crowdfunding. The child was operated on March 8. “The mother and the baby were discharged in good health,” said Joy Vargheese, director of hepatology and transplant at the hospital.  

One in 20,000 live births could have biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile ducts outside and inside the liver are blocked. As bile cannot flow, it builds up in the liver and damages the organ. It eventually leads to liver failure. Children could start showing symptoms within a month or two of birth, said Somashekara HR, consultant paediatric hepatologist. 

Mettu Srinivas Reddy, director, liver transplantation and HPB surgery, assisted the team that performed the eight-hour surgery.  

Hospital chief executive officer Nagesh K. Rao congratulated the surgeons on their effort. The baby’s parents returned the extra funds that they received to other patients in Bhutan who were in need of money for treatment. 

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