Sister donated kidney and gave life to brother

New Delhi, Aug 10 (PTI) His sister gave him the gift of life by donating her kidney and Aman Batra, free from nine years of dialysis, can now finally plan for the future – up soon, he hopes, a feature film and then marriage.

The 29-year-old scriptwriter based in Gurgaon had been suffering from chronic kidney ailment since 2013. With both his parents unable to donate a kidney, it fell on his sister, Chanda Grover, 38, who lives in New Zealand with her husband.

As families across several parts of India get ready for Raksha Bandhan, a festival celebrating the sibling bond, Batra recaps with love his story towards full health.

The transplant surgery took place on June 11, 10 days after his birthday, and his sister flew back later that month. He was discharged from hospital on June 22.

“Both my parents are hypertensive. My mother is a diabetic. My elder sister had been after me for four to five years insisting she could give me her kidney but we were reluctant because she has always been scared of surgeries,” Batra told PTI.

“She is very delicate. When she receives an injection shot, she holds that arm for a week in pain. But she went under the knife for me,” he said with gratitude.

The brother-sister have always been close. In 2010, Batra said he even got his sister’s face tattooed on his wrist. Grover, who runs a beauty salon and also has an import business, said their rakhi celebration will be a virtual one this year.

Grover added that she had been trying for nine years to convince her brother to let her donate a kidney but he was adamant he would never let that happen.

“This year in February, I somehow convinced him we have to do this since I will never be happy if he is going through so much. He finally gave in. I flew down in March, got my tests done and then was back in May so that we could get the surgery done and he doesn’t have time to go back on his decision,” Grover told PTI over phone from Auckland.

She said her brother her number saved as “Principal Ma’am” on his phone because she is after him to take care of his health.

“The gift I have asked for in this rakhi is that he won’t take his health casually, not be hard on his body.” Batra, unlike his sister, has survived many a health scare and needle pricks.

“I am completely opposite from my sister. I underwent an appendix surgery in 2010. In the last nine years, I have undergone dialysis twice every week, been hit by Covid twice and dengue once,” he said.

The pandemic years were difficult, Batra said.

His parents and he were both infected with Covid during the first wave in May 2020.

“My oxygen levels deteriorated and I was blabbering. At that time, my father arranged for an oxygen cylinder at home because there was this perception that whoever was going to hospital was not returning home. They did not want me to get admitted in a hospital.” He contracted the viral disease again in March 2021.

Last year in December, he was hit by dengue and his platelet count went down to 30,000.

“Doctors advised me to get hospitalised since I faced the risk of internal bleeding, made worse due to my condition,” he said.

The fight with dengue was a trigger point and pushed him towards a transplant.

The decision taken, the doctors counselled the family According to Dr Sanjeev Gulati, principal director, Nephrology and Kidney Transplant, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, the family was apprehensive about their daughter donating her kidney. They were, he said, under the impression her quality of life would be impacted and she would face issues in getting pregnant.

“I spoke to his sister over a video call cleared her doubts, and even made her speak to donors to dispel all their misconceptions,” said the doctor, who is also president-elect of the Indian Society of Nephrology and a member of the governing body of the Indian Society of Organ Transplant.

Batra said he had not let his ailment affect him.

I used to live like a normal person, work 10-12 hours a day, make ad films from here, shoot them, and was also running a kitchen from my home.” “The only restriction was that I could not travel to Mumbai, which is the hub of our industry. Even if I had to travel, I had to ensure that I was back within two days, since I had to undergo dialysis,” he added.

But now the future stretches ahead – full of possibility. Other than making his own feature film, Batra said he plans on getting married to the love of his life in the next couple of years.

Gulati said Grover’s husband was quite supportive of the entire process, which was quite heartening.

“We have been trying to generate awareness about kidney transplant and telling people that being born with a single kidney is a congenital defect and those people lead a normal life,” he added.

Grover echoed Gulati, saying her husband was a big support.

“The surgeons were asking whether he would be okay since I would have scars over my stomach after the surgery but he was okay with it. I like dressing up but will proudly flaunt scars from the surgery,” she said.

Organ transplants are carried out under rules of The Transplantation Of Human Organs Act.

According to Gulati, the surgery is not complicated but the processes involving several authorisations from committees under NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organization) can get overwhelming for families.

“In this case, the husband was specially made to fly down from New Zealand and depose before the committee so that he could give his consent to his wife undergoing the surgery.” (The festival of Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on Thursday) PTI SLB MIN MIN MIN

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