Baby lived for 68 hrs his organs give life to 21 year old
IN PROBABLY a first in the country, a newborn baby that survived for only 68.3 hours became the youngest-ever organ donor in PGIMER-Chandigarh’s transplant history, the hospital says. The newborn gave a new lease of life in the form of his kidneys to a 21-year-old woman, both of whose kidneys had failed.
The infant’s parents are from Punjab’s Patiala district.
When doctors informed the them on Wednesday that their newborn wouldn’t survive, the young couple expressed their desire to donate his organs, stating that they want their baby “to re-live through others”.
PGI said the newborn is probably the youngest organ donor in India, and the youngest ever in the transplant history of the hospital since the cadaver organ transplant programme was initiated in 1996.
The infant was detected with congenital disease at a hospital in Patiala from where he was referred to PGIMER, Chandigarh.
Prof Ashish Sharma, head, Department of Renal Transplant Surgery, PGIMER, said, “Retrieving organs from children for transplant is rare; it is even more uncommon from newborn babies with congenital anomalies. The case had its own kinds of challenges. On one hand, the donor was a newborn, so the retrieval was also not routine procedure and demanded extreme deftness and skill…. On the other hand, the best matched recipient was an adult, so both kidneys were transplanted into one recipient considering the age factor.”
“The case is also important as it puts focus back on neo-natal organ donation as a way of increasing the number of organ donors in future,” Prof Sharma said.
The infant’s father, who wanted to keep his identity anonymous, said, “No family should go through this. We agreed because we knew this could help someone else…we did it so that our baby re-lives through others. We have done it for our own peace and solace. We hope our child’s story will inspire others.”
PGIMER director Prof Jagat Ram said the team of doctors, testing lab and nursing unit staff “enabled this rare and landmark transplant” but it would not have been possible without the “gritty decision and selfless gesture of the donor family”.