Dubai teen pledges to promote organ donation after getting life-saving kidney transplant

Dubai - Pritvik Sinhadc will be working with MBRU, Al Jalila Foundation to ensure increase awareness on organ donation.



By Saman Haziq

Published: Mon 18 Jan 2021, 2:55 PM

Last updated: Mon 18 Jan 2021, 3:00 PM

Dubai teen Pritvik Sinhadc, who got a new lease of life as doctors in the emirate performed the first ever paediatric kidney transplant on him from a live donor – his father - has pledged to become a torchbearer for organ donation in the UAE.

As he fought end-stage renal failure, the boy had developed sepsis in his gall bladder as well as bile ducts due to the toxins building up due to kidney failure. He urgently needed a kidney transplant to survive but the chances were bleak as is only matching donor his dad Bhaskar Sinha, worked overseas in an oil-and-gas company, and due to Covid flight restrictions he was unable to fly back.

Luckily, Pritvik’s case was taken up by the office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who personallly wrote to Pritvik assuring him that the UAE was his home and that he would receive the best care possible. The rest is history as his successful transplant story was published widely by the Dubai Media office along with a number of publications.

Pledging to raise awareness on the crucial need for organ donation in saving lives of patients like him, Pritvik said: “ If it was not my dad, I wouldn’t have survived as we didn’t get any deceased donors. If I had undergone a deceased’s kidney donation, my father wouldn’t have had to undergo the pain of donating his kidney to me. Today, there are thousands of children waiting for an organ transplant to live healthier, more productive lives. For some like me with end-stage organ failure, it is truly a matter of life and death. I feel it should be felt as a moral obligation that if you sign yourself up for deceased organ donation, you can, in essence, live your own life through someone else.”

Despite his failing health, the child prodigy managed to become a World Science Scholar, one of 75 exceptional mathematicians under the age of 18 in the world and the only one in the region; and an affiliated researcher in astrophysics. Apart from earning the title of becoming world’s youngest author in paleontology at the age of seven, he also co-authored NASA’s Primer on Astrobiology. However, his medical condition was taking a toll on his research work and his schoolwork, necessitating an urgent kidney transplant.

In order to give back to the UAE, the youngster now wants to invest all his energy and knowledge to make the UAE a hub future scientific innovation and growth. He will also be working closely with MBRU and the Al Jalila Foundation to ensure that there is increased awareness on organ donation.

The transplant team's message

A team of 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 successfully carried out the complicated pediatric kidney transplant from Pritvik’s father to him.

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 Jalila Hospital and assistant professor of Surgery at MBRU; and Dr. Waldo Concepcion, Head of the Al Jalila Children’s Organ Transplant Centre.

Speaking about the transplant, Dr Waldo said: “The operation took around three hours to extract the kidney from the donor and another two and a half hours to place it inside the recipient. The donor, Bhaskar Sinha, stayed in the hospital for four days, while Pritvik stayed for six days before being discharged in a stable condition. I have been associated with Pritvik’s case for around eight months now and post transplant I have seen his face lit up. The boy is a genius and full of life and this new lease of life has invigorated him to achieve his full potential. This young man is now looking forward to make a positive change in the world.”

Talking about the importance of organ donation, Dr Waldo said: Organ donation can save lives, bring the society together and bring happiness among communities. The waiting list of children put on this painful process of dialysis is growing because there are not enough organ donations from the deceased as it is not easy to get perfectly matching live donors. We do not mutilate or deform the bodies when we do a transplant from a deceased. We do it very systematically and in a respectful manner and organ donation in the UAE is done in the most altruistic way.”

Adding to this, Dr Farhad Janahi, who has been part of organ transplants in Dubai since 2016, said: “We hope to create awareness among the society and look forward for their support in organ transplant from the deceased donors as this can breathe life into several children who need these life saving transplants. The society needs to grow, develop and understand that by encouraging organ donation they will heal and help more people. This will strengthen the roots of the society and they will become part of the solution.”

He added: “We have a lot of potential donors but they don’t agree to donate from the deceased. We hope and wish they understand and mature and be upcoming to donate from their deceased loved ones and not just bury them with those valuable organs that can save multiple lives. The number of patients on dialysis are increasing due to more incidents of diabetes and hypertensions but number of organ donations are not increasing due to the mindset of people.”

All about organ donation in UAE

What is organ donation in UAE?

As per the UAE regulations, Organ donation is only possible on cadavres of deceased or among living relatives up to 4th degree. Donors need to have expressed their interest in donating through the official means of registration and verification.

How can I register as a Donor?

You can register in 3 ways

Online on https://hayat.mohap.gov.ae/sign-in

By downloading the Apps from IOS store (link) and Google Play Store (link)

In person at MOHAP facilities.

Who can join as a Donor in UAE?

For Donors to be registered, they need to be residents in UAE and over 21 years. Younger suitable Donors will need family members’ consent in case of death.

What organs can be donated?

As per international standards, eight organs can be donated to save lives. In the UAE the organs collected to date are: heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas.

saman@khaleejtimes.com


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