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Offline Karol

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Women outshine men in kidney donation
« on: May 12, 2013, 07:50:28 PM »
Women outshine men in kidney donation
DC | Uma Kannan | 08th May 2013

Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital has performed 115 cadaver kidney and 962 live kidney transplantations till now. Most of the cadaver donors are men, while a majority of live donors are women. — DC
Chennai: Women seem to be large-hearted than men when it comes to live organ donation, especially if it is kidney. For as per statistics provided by the Directorate of Medical Education, 264 women donated their kidneys in Chennai while only 137 men gave away the organ in 2012.

Not just in India, but across the world the number of women donors is high. Putting things in perspective, Dr Sunil Shroff, professor and head of Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, says, “Women are more giving, loving and caring in nature. Generally, the percentage will be always like 65 women and 35 men.  In India, mostly men are bread winners and I have seen more mothers donating kidneys to children, and then comes wives to husbands, followed by sisters to brothers or fathers.”

In Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, the live organ transplant started in 1987 and so far 962 people have donated their kidneys. “A total of 802 women have donated and the rest is men,” informs Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan, professor and head, department of Nephrology, RGGGH.

Of the 802, a total of 345 mothers have donated their kidneys to sons and 86 mothers to daughters. “Siblings come forward to donate kidneys and 147 sisters have donated their organs to brothers and 49 brothers have donated the organ to sisters,” said Dr N. Gopalakr­ishnan.

As many as 47 wives have donated their kidneys to husbands, while three husbands have given the organs to wives. Till now, 24 fathers have donated kidneys to daughters and 115 fathers to sons. Apart from willingness, ‘suitable match’ plays a pivotal role. There are many patients who do not find the right match of blood groups and tissue level with those willing donors. Recently, Billorth Hosp­itals performed a rare ‘swap kidney transplantation’, a first-of-its kind in Tamil Nadu.

“If a patient has A group, and his willing relative having B group, transplantation between them can’t happen due to mismatch. If another kidney failure patient has B group, and her willing relative has A group, the donors can be exchanged between the two patients,” says Dr R. Vijayakumar, HoD of nephrology, Billroth Hospitals. This swap transplantation will help many kidney failure patients and there will be wider pool of donors.

Gandhi’s secy kin ‘donates’ love

Malini Kalyanam’s family heaved a sigh of relief when they found a pro­­s­pective kidney do­nor for her mother Saraswathy. The transplantation was to take place on June 18, 1982.

When the family was looking forward to the transplantation day, a telegram from the prospective donor came as a rude shock to the family as the former informed them that she chose not to donate. Soon, the then thin 18-year-old Malini, daughter of V. Kalyanam, personal secretary to Mahatma Gandhi, dec­ided to donate her kidney.

“Nobody asked me to donate. I strongly felt the energy and the drive to take the tests and I requested my doctor also to keep it a total secret from my mother. There were friends and even nurses in the Jaslok Hospital in Mum­bai who at the last moment had asked me to refrain from being a donor. But I did not relent for a moment.

I was then wheeled and taken by lift to the 20th floor where the trans­plant was to be done. The surgery lasted six hours,” recalled Malini, who is now the founder and director of Artistic Pottery Training Aca­demy in Chennai.

Saraswathy, who was 52 when the transplantation took place, got pneumonia after the transplant and recovered. For several mon­ths, Saraswathy did not know that her own daughter donated the kidney.

“One fine day she got the wind of it and was quite upset. ‘How on earth I could do such a stupid act on my daughter like that’ ran on her mind. I could understand her feelings, as no mother on earth would want her child to donate an organ and would rather die that if such a situation arise.

We shared a special bon­dage and I only hoped to give her a new lease of life. She lived with the new kidney for six years and two months and kept ranting on and off saying I had made a big blunder,” recalls Mal­ini.

But Saras­wathy pass­ed away due to the side effects of steroids and other complications that she developed. “Fi­n­ally the end came due to hepatitis,” said Mal­ini, with memories of her mother still flooding her mind. It’s more than three decades now since she donated her kidney, Malini is just as normal as before.

“I continue to take precau­tions and regular tests each year to ensure that the remai­ning kid­ney is in good sha­pe. I expr­essed my de­sire be­fore mar­riage to my spouse to donate my body for med­ical purposes. I do not see any use in burning or burying my body,” she says. Further, she adds, “Life is precious and in a way, long after we are gone, our organs continue to serve someone.”

Daughter Jenna is 31 years old and was on dialysis.
7/17 She received a kidney from a living donor.
Please email us: kidney4jenna@gmail.com
Facebook for Jenna: https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
~ We are forever grateful to her 1st donor Patrice, who gave her 7 years of health and freedom


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