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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times

A rare cross border alliance to save 3 year old Afghan girl

In a heart-warming tale of compassion and cross-border harmony, three-year-old baby Hadia Nesari, an Afghanistan national, was saved by the diligence of Dr. Huma Cheema, a Pakistan-based Paediatric Hepatologist and the liver transplant team at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, comprising of Dr Neerav Goyal, Dr. Anupam Sibal, Dr Shishir Parikh, Dr. Arun Venuthuvimilli, Dr. Vaibhav Kumar, Dr. Namit Jerath, Dr. Vidyut Bhatia, Dr. Hitendra Garg and Dr. Smita Malhotra.
Dr. Huma said, “Hadia had been unwell in Afghanistan for some time and was referred to my department at Children’s Hospital, Lahore. We admitted her in a seriously ill condition. She had contracted chronic liver disease of unknown cause and despite our best efforts, her disease became severe and the organ became cirrhotic. Essentially, her liver was failing. In the end, the only option was a liver transplant. I immediately referred her to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi as it is a pioneering institute in the field of liver transplants.”
“When we counselled the family to go for a liver transplant, they broke down and told us that since Hadia’s father is a teacher, he couldn’t afford the proposed treatment,” Dr. Huma added. Going above and beyond the call of duty, she decided to fund the treatment herself as the family had severe financial constraints.
Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director and Senior Consultant, Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Apollo Hospitals said, “We started the assessment for a liver transplant immediately as Hadia needed an urgent liver transplant. In about 20% of children needing a liver transplant the cause cannot be identified as was the case with Hadia. Once liver failure becomes end stage, the only treatment is a liver transplant. Hadia is the third child from Afghanistan to have received a transplant at Indrparstha Apollo Hospitals. Since performing the first successful liver transplant in India in 1998, The Apollo Liver Program has now performed more than 3100 transplants, including 297 in children.”
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals respecting Dr. Huma’s generosity offered treatment at a subsidized rate.
Dr. Neerav Goyal, Senior Consultant, Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic Surgery Department, added, “As the blood vessels in a young child are very small we needed to take extra care to plan the transplant.
Her father Ahmed Fawad became her liver donor. We performed a successful 12-hour long liver transplant surgery on the patient last month. Baby Hadia is doing well now, and all her tests are normal.”
Hadia’s father expressed his immense gratitude to team of doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Dr. Huma Cheema and the grace of God which saved the life of his child, “Nothing is worse than watching your child suffer through disease. By giving new life to Hadia, doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals have given a new life to our family. We go back to Afghanistan taking back fond memories of our time in India.” (Apollo)

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