Times of India, Bangalore, May 13, 2012
BANGALORE: This mother gave not just one life to her child, but two. Ten-year-old Harshita, a Class IV student was diagnosed with jaundice in March this year, following which her liver developed severe complications and was damaged. It required another liver to revive her. Her 35-year-old mother Manjula did not think twice before donating a part of her liver to her daughter.

“The incidence of Wilson’s Disease is about 30 per million globally. The liver becomes cirrhotic due to copper deposition, and then, it fails. Harshitha was very sick and required an immediate liver transplant. Cadaver donors are difficult to come by and time was running out for the little girl,” said Dr Sonal Asthana, Chief Liver Transplant surgeon at BGS Global Hospital, Bangalore.

“As cadaver donation (organ donated by a brain dead person) would have taken some time, our first option was to get a donation from a family member. We spoke to the parents and explained the procedure to them. We also told them that if a part of the liver is removed, it grows back fully within six months. Harshitha’s mother immediately agreed to donate her liver,” said Dr Asthana.

Manjula underwent a blood test; her blood group matched with Harshitha. Various tests followed and she was found to be a suitable donor. The government committee met in an emergency session to consider and cleared the girl’s case, as this was the only way she could be saved.

“The procedure of a liver transplant is safe but lengthy. The girl suffered acute failure, so we had to do something in 48 hours. We removed 40% of the mother’s liver and transplanted it in Harshita. The mother and daughter are doing fine. About 90% of Manjula’s removed liver would grow back in the next 4 weeks and rest in 6 months,” explained Dr Asthana.

Manjula and Anand R, a travel agent, have got two daughters. Their younger daughter Yashshwini is 7 years old.