Many people in need of a transplant struggle to receive just one organ.
But a photographer from Khaira Dona village, in the northwest state of Punjab, India, is now living with five kidneys.
Since 2004, Jaswant has undergone three transplant surgeries to replace his failed kidneys. With each procedure, the 33 year-old gained a new kidney from a family member, while the non-functioning organs remained in his body.
During kidney transplants, the failed organ is often left in the body to reduce the risk of death and complications that can result from removing it. Yet only an exceptional handful of such transplant recipients can claim to have had the procedure multiple times, like Jaswant.
Determined to “make it this time,” Jaswant received his latest kidney from his 55 year-old mother more than a month ago.
Jaswant had his first transplant surgery at age 25. The organ, which was donated by his older sister, functioned for more than a year. “However, my body rejected the kidney once I stopped post-operation medication because of financial constraints,” he said.
Two years later, Jaswant received another kidney, this time from his younger sister. After 14 months, he was placed back on dialysis, after his body rejected the organ of yet another family member.
While discussing his latest transplant, Jaswant cited his family’s “determination to see me live,” adding, “this time my mother, 55, gave me her bean shaped organ.”
Jaswant’s family makes a modest living—his brother is a driver and his father sells milk. Doctors from India’s National Kidney Hospital were so impressed by the young photographer’s story and the determination of his family, that they performed Jaswant’s most recent transplant surgery for free.
Rajesh Agrawal, the transplant surgeon who conducted the procedure along with doctor’s Suresh Aggarawal and Sanjay Mittal; said Jaswant is not the first person in this part of India to undergo multiple kidney transplants.
“The case is second in the region, where a third kidney transplant surgery has been done successfully. The earlier three transplants in the country were conducted at Hyderabad, Lucknow and Delhi,” doctor Agrawal said.