Pakistani teenager undergoes liver transplant in India

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Madhia Tariq, 16, had no hope of survival when she slipped into a coma after collapsing in her Lahore school in January due to acute liver failure. An air ambulance from Delhi brought the young Pakistani student to India — and back to life.

Madhia underwent a liver transplant at the capital’s Indraprastha Apollo hospital where a team of 18 doctors operated upon her. Her brother Rizwan donated almost half his liver to her Feb 3.

Madhia had developed acute liver failure due to Hepatitis A. She was off the ventilator within 24-hours after the surgery and started eating the next day. Over the following weeks, her condition improved and she is now ready to fly home to Pakistan.

“The process of sending an air ambulance to Pakistan, arranging visas for the entire family and taking a decision on the transplant took just 48 hours, which were very crucial,” said Anupam Sibal, senior pediatric gastro-enterologist, at the Apollo Hospitals.

He said it was the first time that Apollo Hospitals had sent an air ambulance to any foreign country to pick up a liver transplant patient.

“The entire government machinery in both India and Pakistan was extremely helpful,” he said.

Neerav Goyal, who operated upon Madhia’s brother Rizwan, 25, said undergoing a donor surgery is also very major. It is usually the family members who are the donors.

According to Madhia, her experience in Delhi has strengthened her desire to become a doctor. The Pakistani teenager and her mother and brother are grateful to the Indian doctors for giving her a second life.

With this transplant, the Indraprastha Apollo hospitals has completed 350 liver transplant cases of Pakistani patients, Sibal said.

“Pakistani patients form the second largest chunk of patients from any country after India, who have undergone successful liver transplants in our hospital,” he said.

The hospital has conducted 1,281 liver transplants in children and adults since the first one in 1998, he added.

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