Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Gift of Life: 21 years later // by Dr Kim Mammen

He discontinued his studies and was bed ridden
Paramjit Singh runs a Karyana and multi-purpose store at Una, Himachel Pradesh, and supports his wife and two children. He has perfect health now and eats normal food considering the illness he suffered during his adolescence, 21 years ago. At the age of 17, in 1990, he was diagnosed to have end stage kidney failure and he was dependent on hemodialysis for his survival. Due to his kidney failure, he discontinued his studies and he was bed ridden for a while. He used to get hemodialysis three times a week at CMCH. Why would fate strike a person in his youthful age of 17? Is this God’s punishment to me and my family? These were the thoughts that went through his mind while he went through the ordeal of hemodialysis for his end stage kidney failure? His father, Rattan Singh, was a Police Officer and he decided to donate his kidney for his son. 27-August-1991 was the long awaited day he dreamt of to receive the “Gift of life” from his father. Parmajit Singh underwent successful kidney transplantation at CMCH. Dr Kim Mammen, Professor & Head, Department of Urology & Renal Transplant Surgeon had performed the renal transplant operation for Paramjit Singh. This was the first ever successful renal transplant surgery performed at CMCH. This was also Dr Kim Mammen’s first renal transplant operation of his career. Recalling the experience of his first renal transplant operation, Dr Mammen confessed that he displayed his best surgical skills in getting the first ever renal transplant operation at CMCH go right and perfect. God’s choicest blessings and a good team-work was the Mantra for the successful operation. The check list he had made for every step of the procedure went right, Dr Mammen confessed 21 years later.

Soon after the kidney transplantation operation, Rattan Singh [Father] was thrilled to know that his donated kidney was working perfectly well on his only son. This was the greatest gift a father could ever give to his son. Rattan Singh recovered well after the operation and he went home six days after the operation. Paramjit Singh was discharged two weeks after the renal transplant operation with normal kidney function. It was a dream come true for Paramjit Singh when he experienced a urine output of more than two liters a day. Before the renal transplant operation, he was passing less than 100 ml of urine in a day and that too with hemodialysis three days a week. Before the operation, he had dreamt to pass urine in good volumes and he was uncertain whether he would fulfill this dream. Paramjit Singh stayed in Ludhiana for a month after the renal transplant operation for getting regular check-ups and blood tests done. A month later, he returned to Una and he started to do part-time education.

Three years after the successful renal transplant operation, Paramjit Singh got married and he now has two children. Paramjit Singh has led a happy married life and his children are excited that their dad is leading a normal life after 21 years of his renal transplant operation. He has had minor ailments and infections which were promptly treated by the CMCH Doctors. Presently Paramjit Singh comes for regular check-ups every two months. Paramjit Singh continues to work as a motivator and promoter for renal transplant surgery and he has proved that this is the only salvation for patients with end stage kidney failure who are totally dependent on hemodialysis. He is indebted to the doctors and nurses of CMCH who looked after him during and after the kidney transplantation operation.

Ever since Paramjit Singh’s successful renal transplant operation in 1991, Dr Kim Mammen has performed more than 500 renal transplant operations both at CMCH and in the UK where he had served as a Consultant Urologist and Renal Transplant Surgeon. Dr Mammen proudly reiterated that the Transplant Team at CMCH had also done Punjab’s first successful cadaver renal transplant in Jan-1997 and the second one in June-2000.
As the world celebrates the “World Kidney Day” Paramjit Singh proudly said “I am a true beneficiary of the Gift of Life by kidney donation and I am now cured of the end stage kidney disease. I was once destined to die but now, I am determined to live. Thank you kidney transplantation and thank you CMCH for the gift of life.” {Issued on:Dated: 07-Mar-2012}

Compiled by Dr Kim Mammen

Professor & Head, Department of Urology, 
Renal Transplant Surgeon, 
Christian Medical College Hospital, Ludhiana. 

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