June 25, 2024

42-year-old Gujarati Mother of Two gets a fresh start after complex dual lung transplantation at Chennai’s Rela Hospital

Her treatment expenses were funded through a crowdfunding campaign and supported by the hospital as well as the Gujarat Government.

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], October 13: A team of expert doctors from Rela Hospital, Chennai, successfully performed a complex double lung transplant on a 42-year-old Mrs. Dimpal Shah of Jarod village, Vadodara district, who was suffering from interstitial lung disease (ILD). ILD is a lung disorder that impairs the tiny air sacs and makes breathing difficult on a regular basis. The unexpected cause of her illness was linked to pigeons. She was diagnosed with fibrotic lung disease, sometimes known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis or bird breeder’s lung disease, caused by pigeon droppings. Mrs. Shah’s path, fraught with hurdles and tenacity, exemplifies the extraordinary impact of medical knowledge and organ donation. Her story is a ray of hope for those suffering similar health challenges.

Mrs. Dimpal Shah’s life had been overshadowed by interstitial lung disease, which was distinguished by numerous doctors’ appointments, drugs, and the ongoing problem of breathing. Despite her determination, medical care only provided brief relief, and the dreadful prospect of lung failure loomed. Mrs. Shah and her family sought treatment at Chennai’s Rela Hospital. Her treatment expenses were funded through a crowdfunding campaign and supported by the hospital as well as the Government of Gujarat.

After the evaluation, the team of doctors decided to do a bilateral lung transplant. She was registered at the state transplant registry for a suitable pair of lungs.  Thankfully, a pair of healthy lungs from a nineteen-year-old female donor, who had tragically been declared brain-dead, was generously provided by her family, giving Mrs. Shah a new lease on life. After enduring a year of waiting and battling several acute exacerbations, the long-awaited call finally came.

This surgery is a complicated process that necessitates precision and skill. It reflects the joint efforts of organ donors’ families, advances in transplantation research, and logistical assistance. India is third in the world in lung transplantation, demonstrating the country’s dedication to promoting organ transplantation.

Dr R. Mohan, Senior Consultant and Clinical Lead – of Heart and Lung Transplantation Rela Hospital stated, “Due to the nature of Mrs. Shah’s condition, finding a donor with matching lungs was a challenge, resulting in an eight-month wait for a suitable donor. Her successful double lung transplant at Rela Hospital is a testament to the unwavering spirit of both patients and medical practitioners. It’s a poignant reminder that, in the face of hardship, the selfless act of organ donation brought fresh life to even the darkest of circumstances.” 

He added, “It is important to maintain a clean environment. Individuals exposed to bird droppings, dust, and feathers over many years can cause irreversible lung damage, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and chronic respiratory failure.”

Dr. Prem Anand John, one of the lead heart transplant surgeon, at Rela Hospital, said, “Mrs. Shah’s condition had reached a critical point where conventional treatments were no longer effective. Her lungs were having difficulty removing carbon dioxide from her body, making her case urgent. The double lung transplant surgery took eight hours and was performed by a team of 14 medical experts, including surgeons, anaesthetists, perfusionists, and surgical assistants. During the surgery, both of her original lungs were replaced with healthy donor lungs. We used a specific approach to reduce blood loss, and we provided external assistance to her heart and lungs during the treatment.”

Mrs. Dimpal Shah expressed her gratitude, adding, “I’m grateful for this second lease of life. The surgery was a success, and I’m getting stronger by the day. I’m looking forward to living a near-normal life after I’ve fully recovered.” Mrs. Shah will need to take medications to prevent rejection of her new lungs as part of her ongoing treatment, as well as steps to limit the risk of infection due to her impaired immune system.

Dr Tejas Kakkad, Senior Pulmonologist, Vadodara, was also present during the press conference.

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