A second chance at life
KOCHI: When their son was born, Manjunath and Deepika’s joy knew no bounds. Manjunath who worked as a cab driver, in Hebbagodi, a small suburb of Bengaluru, offered sweets to all his customers that day. The happy parents decided to name their son Thanmay, meaning engrossed or absorbed, as he always seemed to be captivated by whatever he was doing!
Everything was fine for the first few months. Then in June 2015, when Thanmay was around 10-months-old, Deepika noticed a swelling in Thanmay’s abdomen. He also started suffering from lack of appetite and vomiting. When the worried parents took him to the doctor, tests revealed the worst. The little baby was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer. He was evaluated thoroughly with blood tests, CT scans and biopsy. Chemotherapy was started and continued for six months. Despite Manjunath’s limited income, he was able to manage the expenses with support from friends.
But chemotherapy had limited impact. While it stopped the cancer from growing further and prevented it spreading to other parts of the body, the tumour needed to be removed. But since it involved a large area of the liver, it could not be cut out safely.
It was then decided to do liver transplantation as it was the only possible treatment for the liver cancer. His father volunteered to donate part of his liver and was found to be a suitable donor.
The process hit a road block as the cost of the procedure was beyond Manjunath’s limited income. The doctors then put the family in touch with an NGO organization which helped them raise the required funds through public appeal and well wishers. Over 900 persons donated various sums to help reach the target of Rs 18 lakh. Dr Rehan Saif, Consultant Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary and abdominal multi organ transplant surgeon, Aster Medcity said, “Thanmay had to be primed for the transplant. Combination chemotherapy was started prior to the liver transplant to decrease the chance of cancer coming back after the transplant surgery. Following successful completion of chemotherapy, Thanmay was taken up for the complex procedure of live donor liver transplantation on April 6th.”
Post the surgery, both Thanmay and his father were kept under observation and both made an excellent recovery. Grateful to the team of doctors for giving Thanmay a second chance at life, Manjunath and Deepika could not hold back their tears of joy when Thanmay was discharged from the hospital in the first week of May.
Dr Mathew Jacob, Consultant Hepatobiliary and Transplant Surgeon, Aster Medcity at Kochi said, “It was a challenging procedure due to the large area the tumour took up in the liver. We are happy that the medical team has been able to successfully complete the transplant. Thanmay will remain under close follow up both to ensure that the “new liver” is working and fine.