15years after Renal Transplant: Kanpur resident tells her story

Diagnosed with hypertension at the age of 9yrs (1996) Ms. Avantika Awashti (now 31yrs of age) was having blurred vision, severe headache and vomiting. It took local doctors two years to detect that she is suffering from BP fluctuation due to kidney disease which was causing all the difficulties. Upon diagnosis it was found that only 24% of her Kidneys was functional. Since the delayed diagnosis with BP it took 5yrs to meet the right pediatric nephrologist Dr. Sanjeev Gulati,Director- Department of Nephrology at Fortis Flt. Lt. RajanDhall (FHVK) Hospital*. Until the only treatment available was to keep the BP under check with medication which would delay kidney damage.

Dr. Gulati asked for some test to check the status ofkidney damage and it was found that her Creatinine level had reached around 6and she had stage V chronic kidney disease. There was no response to anytreatment and her creatinine level further worsened  and  reached12. She was advised either to continue dialysis lifelong twice a week or optfor Kidney Transplant. The family consented  leading seniorphysicians who advised them against any active treatment anticipating socialissues in view of Avantika being a girl. But the father refused to give up andopted for kidney transplant. This was when her first dialysis was done inAugust 2002. There were tremendous financial constraints for this middle classfamily. A letter of request to her school principal however brought dramaticresults. The school raised funds by the students contributing as well as havingAvantika design some Christmas cards which were sold at the Christmas mela. Itwasn’t a smooth journey for Avantika as she was getting ready for transplantshe was diagnosed with TB. The transplant was further delayed any finallyconducted on 13th February, 2003.

According to Dr. Gulati- “I still rememberher case because it was such a challenging case for us at that point of time.For a school going girl with complicated symptoms her family wasn’tapprehensive about transplant, it was a very big decision to make. There waslot of counselling done as the transplant will change her life forever withlifetime medication and precautions. It was decided that her mother would beher donor and her first transplant date was December, 2002 but hit with aroadblock with diagnosis of TB. The enormous support by her school not onlyboosted her morale but also helped her raise funds to support her transplant.This year the theme for World Kidney Day was Women and Kidney’s health andAvantika’s battle with Kidney Disease is real life example of the fact thatwhere there is a will there is always a way.”

Reflux Nephropathy is kidney damage due to urineflowing from the bladder towards kidney (flowing backward). The result is smalland scarred kidney within first five years of life in affected children. RefluxNephropathy can occur in people whose ureters don not attached properly to thebladder or whose valves don’t work well also it can occur from injury to theureter. The risk of it is urinary tract infections, vesicoureteral reflux andabnormalities of the urinary tract. It is one of the commonest causes of CKD inchildren.

 Sandeep Guduru, Facility Director at FHVK said-“the journey of Ms Avantika is inspiring. The situation was highly emotionalfor both Ms Avantika and her family. It was the courage of her and support ofteam of doctors that she was able to pass the situation with flying colors. Iwish her all success in life and hope her story will inspire many to go throughthe situation.”

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