Successful kidney transplant done at GPHC with mother and son

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By Isanella Patoir

After her 15-year-old son was diagnosed with end stage renal failure and was told that only a transplant would save his life, his mother, 32-year-old Nadia Budwah agreed to be his donor and was the perfect match.

The transplant surgery was done successfully at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on February 8, and now both mother and son are able to lead a normal life. This was also the first transplant surgery done at the public institution for the year.

“It felt great because I know to myself I am doing something good for Aditya and I think [persons] out there should not be afraid to be a donor…support your family or friends, whoever need a donor,” the young mother of two told reporters at a media briefing at GPHC on Friday.

Her son, Aditya Mohabir, was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure in August last year and prior to the surgery, he was surviving on weekly dialysis treatment.

“I am speaking on behalf of him, he is excited and he can’t wait to go home and show people what he went through and now he get back a normal life, he feel he can show off right now,” the mother said.

Aditya Mohabir (Photo: GPHC/February 26, 2021)

Budwah said she is also happy to return to some form of normalcy, however, it will be a few months until she is fully back on her feet. Budwah previously worked as a waitress before her son’s illness.

She also expressed immense gratitude to everyone who supported her and her son throughout this journey.

“Thank you so much and continue doing the good work and lookout for others and do the same thing that you do to me – help me out. Thank you all.”

The transplant was done by Head of Department for Multi-Organ Transplant and Vascular Access Surgery, Dr Kishore Persaud, and his team from the Georgetown Public Hospital.

While the mother was told she was a perfect match for her son, the surgery which was scheduled for early January, was further pushed back after abnormalities were found in the cross match test. The cross match test was done at the University of Miami.

“So what they found was that the cross match was negative so that she could have donated, but they found something called ‘a class two antibody’ that could have prevented this transplant. So what the lab did, they rerun the test and when they checked it, they found it was an antibody to abnormal protein and once they would have verified that and cleared that up, then they advised us to then proceed with the transplant,” Dr Persaud explained.

Seated right and left, Nadia Budwah and her son, Aditya Mohabir along with Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony (seated left). At the back from left, Dr Kishore Persaud and his team.

Meanwhile, once the teen takes his medication and follows the doctors’ orders, the kidney can last approximately 20 to 25 years.  He will then need a new transplant or be put back on dialysis.

Dr Persaud explained that dialysis is one of the most expensive medical treatments. With the transplant done, the family will have no longer have that financial burden.

“Dialysis is also not a burden of being expensive, the amount of medication and the cost of medication to keep him alive are very expensive. For example, one shot of erythropoietin cost approximately $6500 per dose, which is also used three times per week during the dialysis session,” Dr Persaud explained.

Dialysis treatment for the teen boy was made possible by the Ministry of Health, President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali and corporate sponsors.

Also present at the media briefing on Friday was Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, who noted that over the last two months, a team has been meeting to put together the new legislation to guide human organ transplant surgeries.

The Human Organ Transplant Bill is expected to be presented in Parliament on or before May 2021. This legislation will greatly assist persons in dire need of transplants but have no donors and will also alleviate the financial burdens of dialysis treatment.

“Hopefully, by the end of this year we can have such legislation in place so as to make sure the legal framework for transplants are properly in place,” the minister said.

While there is no renal registry, Dr Persaud said from observation, over 150 patients access dialysis centres throughout the country of which 75 per cent need a transplant but have no donors.

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