World Liver Day: Zimbabwean Boy Suffering From Respiratory Failure Effectually Braves Liver Transplant At Artemis Hospital, Gurugram

Oxygen was bypassing the five-year old's lungs. As a result, his heart was able to oxygenate only one-third of the blood it was pumping. The child had to survive by carrying an oxygen cylinder with him all the time, even while walking, sleeping, eating, using the washroom, or even having food

A five-year-old boy from Zimbabwe, suffering from respiratory failure due to oxygen bypassing his lungs, successfully underwent liver transplant at Gurugram’s Artemis Hospital, the process helped breathing life back into his life.

Leon Tadiswa, the son of a school teacher in Harare, began to show symptoms like recurrent chest infection, pneumonia, difficulty in breathing, weight loss, and jaundice. In October 2021, he was diagnosed with an uncommon condition called hepatopulmonary syndrome that affects the lungs of those with advanced liver disease. The doctors found that the child was suffering from liver cirrhosis and elevated pressure in the vein that lead to the liver (portal hypertension).

To make things worse, most of Leon’s blood was bypassing capillaries of his lungs and not being saturated with oxygen. As a result, he had to be administered oxygen 24/7. The problem was so serious that oxygen cylinder had to be carried with him all the time, even while walking, sleeping, eating, using the washroom or even having food.

Leon remained confined and restricted within the bounds of this house as he needed 10 liters of oxygen to be supplied to him every minute of the day or night. As soon as Covid restrictions on international travel were lifted, the child’s parents rushed him to Artemis Hospital in Gurugram for a viable treatment.

The liver transplant surgery was successful. Dr. Giriraj Bora led the team of surgeons from Artemis Hospital that included Dr. Prabhat Maheshwari, Chief – Neonatal & Paediatric Critical Care; Dr. Sakshi Karkra, Head – Pediatric Gastroenterology & Hepatology; Dr. Shyam Sunder Mahansaria, Sr. Consultant – Liver Transplant & Gastrointestinal Surgery; and Dr. Rajesh Mishra, Chairperson – Anaesthesia.

According to Dr. Giriraj Bora, Chief – Liver Transplant & Sr. Consultant – GI & HPB Surgery, Artemis Hospital, Gurugram: “On examination, we found that it was a case of very high level of oxygen bypass. The child’s shunt fraction (the percentage of blood pumped out by the heart that is not oxygenated) was 67%. This means that only one-third of the blood pumped by his heart was carrying oxygen. Such poor figure of blood oxygenation has not been recorded in India before. Liver transplant was the only option to save the child’s life.”

Upon arrival of the patient, the doctors decided to use a special ventilator for delivering nitric oxide to prevent further fall in oxygen levels in the child’s blood. The expense for this came to Rs 1 lakh per day, which the family was unable to afford. The Artemis Hospital management graciously stepped in and supported the family financially on humanitarian grounds for entire duration of 14 days when the child needed to be administered the gas to stabilize and maintain his oxygen levels. The liver was donated by the child’s 53-year-old maternal uncle.

Dr. Bora Said: “When the patient visited us for initial checkup, he needed to be administered 10 liters of oxygen every minute to survive. After the transplant, he is now completely off the oxygen cylinder, and is breathing naturally. and effortlessly Leon can now lead a normal life like any other kid of his age. He will remain on drugs to suppresses his immune system and prevent rejection of the liver by his body, but the dose will decrease over time. The child was in our hospital for just 26 days, but his life has got transformed now.”

Said the child’s mother, Nyasha Mhandu: “My life turned upside down when my child was diagnosed with such a serious disease. I had lost all hope and couldn’t sleep. I still cannot believe that Leon is breathing on his own now. I thank the doctors of Artemis Hospital from the bottom of my heart for giving a new lease of life to my son. I look forward to watching him grow up into a smart young man.”

About Artemis Hospital

Artemis Hospital, established in 2007, spread across 9 acres, is a 600 plus bed; state-of-the-art multi-speciality hospital located in Gurugram, India. Artemis Hospital is the first JCI and NABH accredited hospital in Gurugram. Designed as one of the most advanced hospitals in India, Artemis provides a depth of expertise in the spectrum of advanced medical & surgical interventions, comprehensive mix of inpatient and outpatient services. Artemis has put modern technology in the hands of renowned doctors from across the country and abroad to set new standards in healthcare. The medical practices and procedures followed in the hospital are research-oriented and benchmarked against the best in the world. A top-notch service, in a warm, open patient-centric environment, clubbed with affordability, has made it one of the most revered hospitals in the country.


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