(Representative Image) Photograph:( Others )
Owing to a birth defect (of unknown cause) called ‘fibrosing alveolitis’, Nazar Dianov had to be put on a ventilator, barely two months after he was born in his home country.
Nazar Dianov, a 4-year-old Russian boy is now able to walk and play after having undergone a successful bilateral lung transplant at a hospital in the Southern Indian city of Chennai. Owing to a birth defect (of unknown cause) called ‘fibrosing alveolitis’, he had to be put on a ventilator, barely two months after he was born in his home country.
Following this, the six-month-old baby had also undergone a tracheostomy(inserting a tube into the windpipe to aid breathing via oxygen supply and ventilator support) and later brought to Chennai for further treatment.
According to Doctors at MGM Healthcare, the young patient was on a ventilator for three years in Chennai, until a suitable lung donor (cadaver) was found. It was a 2-year old brain dead donor from Surat, in the Western Indian State of Gujarat that offered the Russian a new lease of life. The major challenge and delay, in this case, is associated with the requirement of a small lung that would be suitable for the baby patient. Being on a ventilator for such a long period also makes the patient’s condition even more complicated, as patients on ventilators can develop infections in under a week.
It was in mid-December 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that a team of 20-doctors successfully performed the transplant procedure under the leadership of Dr K.R. Balakrishnan, Director Heart and Lung Transplant Program. Despite the patient having being under ventilator support for three years, Doctors said, that the new pair of lungs are responding well in the patient. According to the hospital, the boy is presently off the ventilator and on minimal oxygen support and they how he will be able to live a normal life in the coming times.
Responding to WION’s queries about what caused this condition in the infant, Doctors said that it was a rare, mutated birth defect. “In Russia, they don’t have pediatric organ donation by Law, hence their doctors referred the family to us in India. However, there is very little awareness about pediatric lung transplants, even in India, as it is not done very commonly. We have hardly seen any such cases come to us” they added when asked about such cases in India and the choice of an Indian hospital.
Highlighting the importance of organ donation in saving lives, the Doctors urged the masses to understand and acknowledge that “we don’t need our organs after we are gone”. They estimated that 90% of the liver and kidney transplants are from live donors, whereas heart and lungs are very rare as they are cadaver dependent, thus causing a long, sometimes endless wait.