A year ago, 4 year old Salman’s life was hanging by a thread. His kidneys had failed. Salman’s parents live and work in Bahrain. He was born with a defect that resulted in kidney failure. Hospitals in the Gulf, Singapore and UK turned them away insisting that Salman was far too young.
Then on a chance visit to Sri Lanka, they were recommended the Kidney and Dialysis Centre at Apollo Hospital in Colombo where Salman at just 3 years old was given special dialysis for a child, which enabled him to walk around and play. On returning to Bahrain with the aim of getting a transplant they were met with disappointment again, as the possibility of a transplant was refused due to risk.
In despair they turned to the Renal team at Apollo for help. “Salman was such an ill little boy, yet we were determined to do everything we possibly could to give him a chance to live,” recalls Dr Surjith Somiah, who works alongside the four highly qualified transplant teams at Apollo. The team would be setting a precedent in Sri Lanka (if not the region itself) by taking it on.
The first obstacle to be met head on would be finding a suitable donor. Due to complications, both Salman’s parents were found unsuitable as donors. However his uncle readily stepped forward and was thankfully found to be a very strong match. Still, more problems remained. Can a full sized adult kidney fit in, let alone function in a child’s small body? Salman was tiny for his age. It would be a highly difficult procedure and a dangerous, even life threatening surgery, with no margin for error. Confident in their ability and dedication, Dr Surjith Somiah and his transplant team took the leap of faith and the transplant was done on the April 25 last year and was a success beyond expectations. Salman’s condition was carefully monitored and he continued to improve steadily. Today one year on, he has the hope of a long and ‘normal’ life and Salman’s family express great gratitude to the team at Apollo.
The Kidney and Dialysis Centre at Apollo Hospital is a fully-equipped state-of-the-art facility with a dedicated team of highly experienced specialists and staff, aiming to improve impaired kidney function, delay the advancement of early kidney disease and aid patients in controlling end-stage kidney failure or in extreme cases such as Salman, renal transplantation via laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. Facilities include, a 9-bed dialysis centre, which is expanding to twice the size in the coming months to be the largest private centre in the country, emergency intensive care dialysis and bedside dialysis for inpatients. Haemodialysis, Peritoneal Intermittent and CAPD, PermaCath Insertion, Nephrotic syndrome in children, Kidney/renal biopsy are treatments and procedures available.
Although Salman’s case was a unique challenge, the Renal Transplant teams at Apollo performs renal transplants on a weekly basis and has, to date, successfully undertaken around 113 transplants in the last 18 months, with around 15 to 20 on the waiting list.
While the standards are kept high at Apollo with strict policies to ensure genuine donors, every attempt is made to keep the costs as low as possible. The cost of a transplant could remain within Rs 7 to 14 lakhs with a week to 10 days hospital stay.
“Having tried everywhere else and getting ‘no’ for an answer, we had lost all hope,” Salman’s father Sajid recollects. “But now, thanks to the brave doctors at Apollo, who were willing to do their best for our child, Salman is attending school like any other 5 year old and he has the chance of leading a good and healthy life.”
There are three transplant teams functioning at Apollo. They include Nephrologists; Dr Surjith Somiah, Dr R S Gooneratne, Dr Chula Herath, Dr A L M Nazaar who work alongside with surgeons, Professor Mandika Wijeratne, Dr B Verma, Dr Ruwan Fonseka, Dr D Rajamanthri, Dr Lalitha Piyarisi and Dr Jayaindra Fernando, to give complete care.
Photo Caption – Four year old Salman in good health