Western India's first bilateral hand transplant surgery was successfully performed at Mumbai's Global Hospital on a 24-year-old woman who had fallen in the platform gap at a station, using the hands of a donor.
Monika More was discharged from the hospital after a two-year wait with a fresh pair of hands that will give her a new lease of life. She had lost both her hands in 2004 after unfortunately falling into the platform gap at the Ghatkopar Station. She had registered for Bilateral Hand Transplantation at Global Hospital, Mumbai. Despite several potential organ donors who could have donated hands for Monika, missed opportunities and complications extended her wait.
Finally, a suitable donor was identified in Chennai. The family of a young man who was brain-dead agreed for hand donation. The donor's hands were flown in from Chennai to Mumbai by a chartered flight, and bilateral hand transplant surgery was successfully performed on August 28.
"I became emotional after the transplant as I strongly believed that I will get new hands and can fulfill my dream. I used to avoid attending functions or weddings as I couldn't apply mehndi on my hands. With my new hands, I will apply mehndi, paint, and do everything I couldn't before. I am very grateful to my mother, my late father, my brother, and the family of the donor," Monika said after her discharge from the hospital on Saturday.
Dr Nilesh G Satbhai, Consultant Plastic, Aesthetic, Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgeon, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, said, "After performing the complex procedure successfully, Monika was put on immunosuppressant medication. She was kept in the transplant ICU with strict and dedicated care. She was able to sit up and walk with support for her arms on the 3rd day itself and was given physiotherapy twice a day."
"In the next couple of weeks, she will be asked to move her elbow as well. Her hand and fingers are expected to start moving after 3-4 months as the nerve healing and recovery happens. Once the hands start functioning, and exercise and physiotherapy progress, she will be more independent. Her functional recovery will continue over the next year and a half. After spending 4 weeks in the hospital, she has recovered smoothly and responded very well to the treatment," Dr Satbhai added.
He further said that she would have to stay isolated for a while as she was more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.
"In the time of the pandemic, a family in Chennai became a beacon of hope for the young girl by deciding to donate hands as this is a very rare donation. Timely support by authorities ensured safe and speedy transport of the organ from Chennai as keeping the transit time minimal was crucial. I hope that this successful surgery would bring hope to many other patients waiting for organs and create a drive towards organ donation especially of hands," said Dr Vivek Talaulikar, Chief Executive Officer, Global Hospital, Mumbai.
( With inputs from ANI )
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