Video: UAE's first kidney transplant from live donor saves teen prodigy's life

Dubai - Sheikh Mohammed pens special letter to the boy: Keep smiling little warrior.

Pritvik Sinha with his doctor.
Pritvik Sinha with his doctor.
Pritvik Sinha.
Pritvik Sinha.
Pritvik Sinha and his doctors.
Pritvik Sinha and his doctors.

By Web Report

Published: Wed 13 Jan 2021, 8:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jan 2021, 8:39 PM

A 16-year-old boy has got a new lease of life as doctors in Dubai performed the first ever paediatric kidney transplant from a live donor in the UAE.

As Khaleej Times reported back in June 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had stepped in to help the teen.

A Dubai College student, Pritvik Sinhadc was battling long-term renal failure and his condition had worsened on May 31 at a time when his father — his only donor match — was stranded in Doha, Qatar, due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Sheikh Mohammed wrote a special letter to Pritvik, assuring him that the UAE is his home and that he would receive the best care possible. “To my dear Pritvik, this is a small gesture from me to you to remind you that you are here at home and that you are in safe hands, and I will pray to God to keep you in good health and safe ... Keep smiling little warrior.”

The surgery was performed by a team physicians from Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital (Al Jalila Children’s), Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Mediclinic Middle East.

In June 2020, Pritvik arrived at the nephrology clinic of Al Jalila Children’s. He was suffering from complete kidney failure. Having been born with small, partially functioning kidneys, Pritvik had reached end-stage kidney disease and required immediate renal replacement therapy, according to his doctors.

Pritvik’s father, Bhaskar Sinhadc, was identified as a successful match, following which he was placed through a full donor evaluation process.

The operation, which has saved Pritvik’s life, is also expected to improve the quality of his life in the years ahead.

Teen prodigy

A talented young boy, Pritvik has been accepted as an official affiliated researcher at BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science to research astrophysics.

He is a published co-author on NASA’s Primer on Astrobiology and graduated as a World Science Scholar in June 2020. However, his medical condition was taking a heavy toll on his research work and his schoolwork, necessitating an urgent kidney transplant.

Pritvik, who was named a UAE Ambassador of Organ Donation, said: “I pledge to work towards raising awareness on the crucial need for organ donation in saving lives of patients like me, who would otherwise not make it without a transplant. I have been lucky to have my father as my donor.

“However, there are many who need transplants to survive and I shall be working closely with MBRU and the Al Jalila Foundation to ensure that there is increased awareness on organ donation.”

In December 2020, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that the government has approved an organ transplant programme.

The transplant

The transplant was executed by Dr Ramzi Ayache, Nephrologist at Mediclinic City Hospital; in collaboration with Dr. Farhad Janahi, Consultant Urologist & Transplant Surgeon at Mediclinic City Hospital and Assistant Professor of Surgery at MBRU; and Dr. Waldo Concepcion, Head of the Al Jalila Children’s Organ Transplant Centre.

Before undergoing surgery, Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), visited Pritvik to enquire about his condition.

“The success of Pritvik’s operation marks an important step forward in conducting such highly precise operations. It also supports the development efforts taking place in Dubai,” said Al Qutami.

Dr. Raja Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, MBRU, said: “We are humbled to have played a part in allowing this impressive young man Pritvik to live his life and press ahead while enjoying quality time with his family and realising his full potential.”

Removing the financial burden

Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO, Al Jalila Foundation, said their A’awen programme helps alleviate the financial burden on families “so that they can focus on their child’s treatment plan and recovery”.

“Pritvik is a bright young boy with a full life ahead of him. We wish Pritvik a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing what the future holds for him on a personal and academic front.”

Dr Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital, said: “We are proud of this joint achievement which has given Pritvik a new lease of life. This pioneering surgery puts us one step closer towards achieving our government’s vision of increasing access to quality transplant services and putting the UAE at the forefront of organ transplant regionally and globally.”

Matthew Dronsfield, Director of Mediclinic City Hospital, added: “This marks another important milestone for the development of transplant services in Dubai, which is the result of the close collaboration by our multi-disciplinary transplant teams at MBRU, Al Jalila Children’s and Mediclinic Middle East. Pritvik’s father, Bhaskar Sinha, was operated on in Mediclinic City Hospital on the day of transplant and will continue to be closely monitored by the transplant team.”

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