‘How does modern Healthcare touch lives?’ the question instigates a lot of thoughts in my mind, but the eye of this thought storm is 1 day 11th March 2011. I went to KEM Hospital, Mumbai with a friend of mine who was an intern there. It was World Kidney Day and they had some kind of celebration and me always being interested in medical world Post my fascination with Grey’s Anatomy, I grabbed this chance of being an audience with both hands. The Doctors spoke a lot about renal diseases and adrenal disfunctionalities but I was jolted to my full senses when Mr. Amrit Sethy (name changed cause of personal reasons) was called to the dias. Sethy uncle had been our family friend since eternity I guess and that day I came to know he was a kidney transplant patient. He was called on the podium because he was the oldest and the most successful transplant patient of KEM and when he started telling his story I was jostled and pulled into some reality that I was oblivious to. He got his kidney in 1983 and has been healthy and strong so far. It has been 30 years and he lives his life to the fullest. He said he had to come for follow ups every 3 weeks in the first few years.
The anti rejection med rates were sky high and needed to be imported from USA but later with the advancements in technology and its influence in healthcare he had a life that was free of his monthly hospital dates within a few years his meds were available in India and the rates were affordable. He had no issues till 2 years ago when suddenly his renal functionality started to diminish. I could not believe what I heard, we did meet often as usual 2 years back and I never saw any change in the spirit of that man, how was that possible? But in his very next statement he burst that bubble of doubt. He said a new medicine available in the market just a few months ago saved his life. Mycept, the God sent drug, stopped the shrinking of the kidneys that had started affecting his health, and now even though he has to kiss the pill regularly he is back to his full health.
After I came back to home I researched every page on google with information related to renal failure. The average life span of a kidney transplant patient is 20 years but with the advent of Modern healthcare there have been cases of people living for 40 years and more too. Scared and proud at the same time at Sethy uncle's feat. Also it is anticipated that people with organ transplants in recent past might have a survival span of 50 years or more.
- Bill Thompson is the longest-surviving American kidney recipient from an unrelated donor, having received his kidney in 1966 at age 15; it has survived over 40 years.
- Denice Lombard of Washington, D.C., received her father's kidney on August 30, 1967, at age 13 and is still alive and healthy 45 years, 9 months later as of 5-5-13. Her father will turn 85 in October and is still healthy and active.
- John Dan of Nairobi, Kenya, was the known longest-surviving kidney recipient in East Africa. He received a kidney from his brother in 1984 and lived for 27 years.
- Chakravarthy from Chennai, India, received kidney from his brother on 2 May 1983 at the age of 29, is still alive and healthy 27 years later.
- Annemarie Grosskopf of Johannesburg, South Africa, received a kidney from a deceased donor in 1981 at the age of 21, and is alive and healthy 31 years later.
These facts made me proud of being born in the era where modern healthcare rekindles hope in the hearts of so many people, who if were in some other period would have nothing but a deathbed waiting for them. Contemplating the fact that earlier people died of tuberculosis, malaria and were crippled for the whole life due to polio and small pox is tormenting enough, and the thought of losing a whole organ was a living nightmare. But modern healthcare is an antidote to all these frightening situations. It has been successful in eradicating so many dreadful diseases in so many regions. We now have treatment plans for cancer and SARS that have proven triumphant over the years. Also the risks of so many surgical procedures have been reduced post the use of laser surgeries. Mortality rate of infants and new mothers have diminished drastically in over the years. the more I searched on the current Medical developments the more I believed in the power of Modern Healthcare.
Now everytime I meet Sethy uncle I have a huge beaming smile on my face and a sense of assurance and contentment in my heart, for I know modern healthcare would take care of my supper friendly, ever bubbly uncle for many years to come. No matter how much people say Modern health has touched our pockets more, I know for sure it touches lives more deeply to even bother about the pockets.