A Pakistani teenager, who underwent a successful liver transplant surgery at a hospital in New Delhi, expressed her gratitude towards India, which she said felt like her ‘own country’.
Madiha Tariq Sheikh, who hails from Lahore, was flown to India on February 3 after she slipped into coma due to acute liver failure and underwent a liver transplant surgery at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.
“This is my own country (India)…It has been four months now and I am missing my school. Inshallah, I will return home next week,” Madiha told reporters in New Delhi.
Her brother Rizwan had donated a part of his liver to save her.
Incidentally, she is the 350th Pakistani to have undergone liver transplant at the hospital.
In all, Apollo Transplant Programme has performed 1,252 liver transplants in children and adults from 27 countries in the past 15 years.
Madiha was discharged on March 6 but was staying in India for further check-ups.
“We are very happy my sister has recovered and it has been great coming here (to India). We have already shared stories of tremendous support we got here to our people back home,” said Rizwan.
But what seems like a fairy tale now was initially a very tough road, Group Medical Director of Apollo Hospitals Anupam Sibal said.
“We sent our air ambulance with a group of doctors to lift Madiha from Lahore, you know how tough it is to get the visas and other formalities completed between the two countries. Again in India you have to take Government authorisation before carrying out a transplant.
“But thankfully, authorities on both sides were very supportive and we got everything done in time. People in the External Affairs Ministry were very helpful,” said Sibal.
Madiha had developed Hepatitis in January. After her condition deteriorated, she was flown to India on February 2 and operated upon on the next day.
“It took a team of 18 doctors, two operation theatres, five units of platelets, 10 units of plasma and 18 hours to perform the two surgeries simultaneously,” Professor Subash Gupta, Chief Liver Transplant Surgeon of Apollo Hospitals, said.
(With inputs from agencies)