Safan Ali with his parents after the surgery. Supplied photo
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The Second Chance Initiative launched by Aster Volunteers in association with Bollywood actor Sonu Sood treated its first patient – seven-month-old Mohammed Safan Ali. His mother was the donor and he underwent the liver transplant at Aster Medcity Hospital in Kochi, Kerala state.
Safan Ali was brought to Aster when he was four months old. He was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare condition where the bile ducts or the tube that connects the liver to the intestine does not develop.
This results in jaundice and yellowish discolouration of the eyes, which subsequently leads to liver failure. Following a failed surgical intervention in his native Karimnagar, Telangana, he progressed to have severe jaundice and cirrhosis which necessitated a liver transplant. It was then through the help of Sonu Sood that the patient reached Aster Medcity in Kochi and underwent a successful liver transplant procedure.
The surgical procedure was performed by a select team of surgeons including Dr Charles Panackel, Senior Consultant Hepatologist, Dr Geetha Mammayil, Paediatric Gastroenterology, Dr Sudheer Muhammed M, Consultant Surgeon, Dr Biju Chandran, and Consultant Surgeon.
Doctors with Safan Ali after the surgery.
Speaking on the initiative Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman & Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare said, “Liver Transplant is a prohibitively expensive lifesaving quaternary treatment done only at a very few hospitals in the country. The Integrated Liver Transplant team at Aster has performed one among the largest series of paediatric liver transplants in the country, which is the only option for survival for most cases. The humongous expenses for this, though it is the lowest in India at Aster, are beyond the means of most parents. We are glad that with the Second Chance initiative for Liver Transplant done in association with Shri. Sonu Sood, we have been able to save Mohammed Safan Ali from the clutches of death at a young age.”
Sonu Sood, an actor by profession, has chosen to commit unstinted patronage to the Second Chance initiative which is set to benefit 49 more children from low-income families. Following the announcement of the initiative, many adult patients have also stepped forward to seek support.
“India has taken huge strides in the advancement of medical care but the access of the same is still miles away for patients like Safan Ali and his family, and mostly because of the high cost. Through this association with Second Chance initiative, we hope to give life to more patients like Safan Ali,” said the Bollywood star.
Aster Hospitals’ newly launched Multi-Organ Transplant facilities are multi-institutional and multidisciplinary centres designed to provide the best transplant experience. The centres are manned by skilled teams of surgeons with technical expertise in performing different types of transplants including liver, kidney, heart, lung, cornea and bone marrow. The centre at Aster Medcity is one of the largest paediatric liver transplant programmes in South India, supporting comprehensive care for liver diseases in children. Empowered with vast experience in hepato-pancreato biliary and abdominal multi-organ transplant surgeries, the team has completed over 500 successful lver transplant surgeries within the Aster Hospitals in India.