Kochi: When Rubin descended on this earth, his parents Ramesh and Vigila never thought that he had congenital primary hyperoxaluria, a rare genetic disorder.
Rubin was born in a poor family in Neelgiri district in Tamil Nadu. Recently, the family was devastated upon realizing that both kidneys of the young boy were dysfunctional and needed dialysis every now and then for him to survive.
Many helping hands
The parents came to know from the doctors that transplantation of the liver and kidney was the only solution to save Rubin’s life. They then enquired about the best surgeons to do the complex proceedings. Thus, they arrived at the Multi-Organ Transplant Team led by Dr Venugopal at the Lisie Hospital in Kochi.
The doctors at Lisie who could confirm through examinations that mother Vigila was a suited donor for 14-year-old Rubin, suggested liver transplantation first, followed by kidney transplantation three months later.
Several benevolent people and NGOs came forward to help the child. The Lisie Hospital management offered a discounted package for liver transplantation and free dialysis until the kidney transplantation is done.
Last month, the dear mother donated a portion of her liver to the son. Dr Venugopal was ably supported by surgeons Dr Fadl H Veerankutty, Dr Shaji, Dr Prameel and doctors in the transplant anesthesia team Dr Rajiv, Dr Vinith and Dr Vishnu.
A 'graceful' meeting
Actor Grace Antony, when she came to know the heart-wrenching story of Rubin, badly wanted to visit and console the boy. And on the day of his discharge, the actor came rushing to meet him. The joy of a surprised Rubin knew no bounds when he met the Kumbalangi Nights fame.
Dr Fadl of the Liver Transplantation wing briefed Grace Antony on the rare disease that Rubin was suffering from. Primary hyperoxaluria is a group of rare genetic disorders usually found at the time of birth. The accumulation of a substance known as oxalate in the kidneys and other organ systems characterizes it. Affected persons lack functional levels of a specific enzyme that normally prevents the accumulation of oxalate.
At the start of the disease, the excess oxalates get expelled through the kidneys along with urine. However, these excess oxalates react with calcium and often give rise to kidney and bladder stones. This will damage the kidneys and affect their functioning.
As the body fails to filter out the excess oxalates, they began to accumulate in the body, first in the blood, and cause a multitude of issues in the eyes, bones, skin, muscles, blood vessels, heart, and other organs. Since the liver is basically affected, the patient has to undergo liver transplantation along with a kidney transplant, Dr Fadl added.
Rubin’s mother is ready to donate one of her kidneys too to her dear son after two months. Lisie Hospital Director Rev Fr Paul Karedan thanked actor Grace Antony for spending time with a poor patient like Rubin.