Kochi: December 23, 2016: A unique get-together at Aster Medcity had children who had undergone a liver transplant in the last one year at Aster hospitals celebrating Christmas and the New Year along with their parents and hospital staff. The get-together was held at Aster Medcity on December 23, 2016 on the eve of Christmas and the New Year. This unique initiative was conceived and put together through the joint efforts of the Aster hospitals including Aster Medcity, Kochi and Aster CMI, Bengaluru supported by Mr. Pratik Agarwal, CEO, Sterlite Power.
Dr. Sonal Asthana, Hepatobiliary and Multiorgan Transplant Surgeon, Aster Integrated Liver Care Program (ILC), Aster Group of Hospitals said, “As children across the country are excitedly making their lists for Santa and waiting for Christmas, these children and their families are grateful for another year with a chance for a healthy normal life. For the small wonders, this get-together is a celebration of life itself!”
Many of the children at the get-together, such as one year old Hazel, had been at death’s door before their transplant. Today, thanks to her transplant at Aster hospital, Hazel is a happy bubbly one year old, and the family is grateful for her second chance. Other families, such as Thanmay’s parents said that after the transplant at Aster hospital, Thanmay is full of life and is as active and naughty as any other two year old child.
Dr. Mathew Jacob, Surgeon, Aster ILC said, “Nearly 2000 children in India require a transplant annually, but less than 100 paediatric transplants are performed across the country. Cost is often the primary concern. Innovative solutions to meet healthcare funding needs are essential to provide care to all who need it. This novel program taps the power of social media to find care for children, and also relies significantly on the generosity of large donors. Programs like these have the capacity to significantly change the transplant ecosystem for children in need in our country.”
Most of these children had received funds for the liver transplant through Milaap, a unique crowd funding initiative with an equal amount matched by a grant from the Pravin Agarwal Family Foundation.
Mayukh Choudhury, Co-founder and CEO, Milaap said, “Since our launch in October 2014, Milaap has used tech-for-good, connecting a community of donors and lenders from across the world on a platform that allows each one to raise and contribute for causes they care about in India. We are pleased that MILAAP is able to give these children a platform to raise funds for their surgery and give them a second chance at a normal life.”
A few children who are soon to undergo a transplant were also present at the celebratory get-together. An initial interaction between all the children, parents and medical team was followed by cutting of a cake and an entertainment program.
Dr. Rehan Saif, Hepatobiliary and Multiorgan Transplant Surgeon, Aster ILC said, “The Aster Liver care program has developed a reputation for high quality affordable care for children with liver disease. In the last year, we have successfully performed several technically challenging transplants for extremely fragile children.”
Dr. Charles Panacakel, Hepatologist, Aster ILC said, “The care of these sick children requires a motivated multidisciplinary team, which we have developed at Aster Medcity.”
Dr. Naveen Ganjoo , Hepatologist, Aster ILC said, “Liver transplantation for children is a challenging but rewarding field. Children can grow and lead full and active lives after a liver transplant.”
Dr. Harish Pillai, CEO Aster Medcity and Cluster Head, Kerala said, “We have focused on developing Aster Medcity as a quaternary-care high quality facility which provides state-of-the-art healthcare in an JCI accredited facility for the needs of our population at an affordable cost. Over the past year the Aster Integrated Liver care team has performed almost 50 liver transplants in addition to developing a strong multidisciplinary team to take care of all aspects of liver disease.”