Religion no bar: How love for kin motivated these two women to undergo swap kidney transplant

LUDHIANA: When the God shuts one door on you, he opens another. When a man in dire need of a kidney was about to lose all hope, a woman from another family donated her kidney to him, and the recipient’s sister gave her kidney to the donor woman’s husband, who was also in need of organ transplant. The two women’s ultimate gifts thus saved the lives of their loved ones.
However, the unique part of the swap kidney story remains that the two families come from different communities — Muslim and Sikh. The first recipient hails from a Muslim family of Malerkotla, while the second recipient’s Sikh family belongs to Fatehgarh Sahib. The kidney transplants were done by a doctor at a private hospital in Ludhiana.
Manvir Singh, 30, of Manderan village in Fatehgarh Sahib, who worked as a bus driver, told TOI that following swelling in his feet and stopping of urine flow, the doctors said his both kidneys have stopped functioning, and for the two-and-half years he had been undergoing dialysis.
“My wife was ready to give her kidney, but her blood group did not match with mine. For one reason or the other, none in the family was suitable for donating the organ to me. Later, the specialist at the private hospital told me that a swap kidney transplant with a Muslim family was a possibility and we went for it,” said Manvir.
“While my wife Manpreet Kaur gave her kidney to Shakeel Ahmed, his sister Shakeela gave her kidney to me. Now, it’s a blood relation between us. She has become my sister by giving me a new lease of life, whereas my wife is sister to him as she gave a part of her body to him. It’s a great example of communal harmony,” he added.
On the other hand, readymade garment trader and resident of Jamalpura in Malerkotla, Shakeel Ahmed, 43, said he is thankful first to Allah and then to the Sikh family for giving him a new life. His 45-year-old sister Shakeela made the sacrifice for him.
Shakeel, who is unmarried, said he had developed kidney problem and was operated upon several years ago. But later, his kidney again stopped working and he had been undergoing dialysis for the past five months.
Urologist and transplant surgeon Dr BS Aulakh, who led the team in the surgery, said, “The families did not know each other prior to coming to the hospital and their meeting was arranged by the hospital coordinator and the transplant was approved by the government-appointed authorisation committee. They agreed to give this precious gift of life to each other’s patients and in doing so spread the message of humanity and communal harmony”.
Director of the hospital Dr Navpreet Kaur Aulakh said, “Such acts of kindness and selflessness have given a new lease of life to two patients. Both the transplants were successful and both patients were discharged with normal kidney function. This swap transplant epitomises the essence of organ donation transgressing all boundaries, including religion. The unique procedure is bound to raise hopes for several organ receivers as also donors.”


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