Patient Review

BL Kapur Memorial Hospital gave me a second life after HIV Kidney Transplant

I write to bear testimony on how BL Kapur Speciality Memorial Hospital in New Delhi India gave me a second chance to live a normal life after “being sentenced to death” following a Chronic Kidney Failure combined with an HIV positive status.

Coming from a tiny an impoverished Southern African country where HIV/Aids has wrecked havoc, I had been down with Chronic Kidney Disease since August 2011. In the absence of proper medical services, I was advised to try our country’s only private hospital which offers Dialysis treatment, where it was confirmed that my kidney had failed and I needed to be on Dailysis.

I had no access for Dialysis. Temporary Cartheters were put on my left thigh but got blocked after two dialysis sessions, forcing the hospital to try another access on my right thigh. It also got blocked after another incomplete Dialysis session. Meanwhile the only expatriate surgeon who could work on my fistula was on leave in Argentina and would not return until two months later.

All this time my toxic wastes levels were accumulating in my blood, making me very sick. It was also discovered that I was HIV positive after tests which was devastating news. The private hospital could not offer me any treatment and actually asked my wife to take me back home to wait for the surgeon to return so that he could work on an an access point the fistula which takes between eight to twelve weeks to mature.

My employers got mad at the private hospital management and wrote them to refer me to a foreign Hospital in the Republic of South Africa. The cost of airlifting me was more than 20 million US dollars until my family convinced the hospital I could be flown on an ordinary scheduled flight which I did in October 2012. An access point was fitted on my chest and the infection I acquired in hospital was cleared within ten days.

I could not walk. I could not do anything on my own but two weeks later I was discharged from the South African Casternhof Clinic to continue Dialysis treatment back home. Unfortunately, in April 2013, I was terminated from my editorial job with no hope of accessing Dialysis treatment which is very costly in my home country.

After professional colleagues noted what I was going through, they consulted Kidney failure patients who had been referred to an Indian Hospital, where they had successful kidney transplants. These patients were sponsored by their employers. After banging heads, the colleagues decided to raise funds to enable me access kidney transplant in India.

Since other patients had successful transplants at a Private hospital in Gurgaon( name with held) we decided to start with that Hospital. We arrived in India on 21 st October 2014 and went straight to the hospital
Because of the stigma attached to HIV status patients, we advised the Transplant surgeon at the hospital of my HIV status. Her reaction shocked and depressed me to a point of spending sleepless nights.

“This is where the death sentences was passed. Tests worthy close to US$3000 were carried out, while I continued going for Dialysis. The Hospital could not tell us that they could not carry out the kidney transplant because I was HIV positive. Instead I was told one story after another. I could not even meet the transplant Surgeon who eventually went on leave and told my agent that because of my HIV status I needed to stay in India for three to four months to wait for my immune level to improve from 199 to the recommended 250 pus for a kidney transplant.”

I gave up on my life and wanted to change my air ticket and return home. I was so devastated. I could not believe a credible hospital would play hide and seek with a chronically kidney patient only to tell me to wait for three to four months. It was like being condemned to death.”

My agent suggested that we try BL Kapur Speciality Hospital where the front office personnel warmly welcomed us and understood our desperate situation.
We were referred to Dr Sunil Prakash who patiently and calmly listened to our story. He assured us that their hospital had done successful kidney transplants on HIV patients before and they would look at my case in consultation with other surgeons.

This was on the 29th of October and for the first time I went to bed and slept after being condemned to death at other Hospital. BL Kapur hospital surgeons assessed my tests conducted at that hospital and assured me that after other tests I would have a kidney transplant.

Dr. Sunil Prakash and his fellow surgeons looked at my case and took personal interest to explain what would be involved and the implications of a kidney transplant on an HIV patient which I believe should be the best way to handle such s delicate and sensitive matter.

My wife was donating the kidney and after all meeting all the requirements we appeared before a transplant committee which decided I could have the surgery. I could not believe what I heard and I grew stronger with hope and faith that I would have a successful surgery.

On 25th November I was operated on and the transplant was a success. I still cannot believe that I no longer go for Dialysis. That I can live a normal life and hope to get another job. My sincere gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Prakash and the entire BL Kapur team of Surgeons and nurses who did a commendable and wonderful medical success.

I will take this message back home to government authorities so that they can send the many kidney failure patients back home to try their luck at BL Kapur Hospital.

May God Bless You ALL.

Isaac Alexander Walcott