Mumbai woman regains hands lost in local accident

All smiles...a thankful Monica with doctors

Mumbai woman regains hands lost in local accident

Gets ‘helpinmg hands’ from brain dead Chennai man

The donor hands were flown in from Chennai to Mumbai by a chartered flight, and bilateral hand transplant surgery was successfully performed on August 28.

MUMBAI, Sep 27 (BNC Network) 24-year-old woman, who lost her hands in a suburban train accident six hears ago, underwent a 16-hour double hand transplant procedure after literally  helping hands from a brain-dead patient from Chennai and now she looks forward to leading an independent life the way she always imagined.

Monika More, who was a teenager then, lost her both hands in 2014 after falling into a platform-train gap at Ghatkopar Station. She tried to use prosthetic limbs for few months, but soon realised that they were more of a burden.

Two years ago, she was registered for bilateral hand transplantation at Global Hospital. On several occasions, there were potential organ donors.  But none of the families agreed for hand donation.  Finally, a suitable donor was identified in Chennai. The family of a young man generously agreed for hand donation. The donor hands were flown in from Chennai to Mumbai by a chartered flight, and bilateral hand transplant surgery was successfully performed on August 28.

Dr Nilesh G Satbhai, Consultant Plastic, Aesthetic, Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgeo at Global Hospitals said, “After performing the complex procedure successfully, Monika was put on immunosuppressant medication. She was kept in the transplant ICU in a separate room, with a dedicated nurse as strict care and isolation was needed. Regular dressings were done for both the hands. The patient was able to sit up and walk with support for her arms on the 3rd day itself. She was given physiotherapy twice a day along with breathing and shoulder exercises. She initially had a plaster slab above the elbow till the hand to support the bones, and will need splints for more than a month.”

The movements of her mother and brother were restricted at the hospital. Monica’s family was in touch with her via phone and video calls to minimize the chances of infection

An elated patient Monika said, “I became emotional after the transplant as I strongly believed that I will get new hands and can fulfil my dream. Earlier, I would avoid attending functions or weddings as I couldn’t apply mehendi on my hands.”

In the next couple of weeks, she will be asked to move her elbow as well. Her hand and fingers are expected to start moving after 3-4 months as the nerve healing and recovery happens. The muscles, tendons and bones would also heal by then. The patient will need help with her day-to-day-activities till then, Dr Satbhai said.

Once the hands start functioning, and exercise and physiotherapy progress, she will be more independent. Her functional recovery will continue over the next year and half. After spending 4 weeks in the hospital (2 weeks in the TICU, 2 weeks in the HDU), Monika is now on oral medications only, and the immunosuppression doses have started tapering now. The patient has recovered smoothly and responded very well to the treatment. She will have to adhere to the follow-up instructions and continue exercising while at home, he explained.

“After my hands get functional, I will apply mehndi, paint, and do activities such as eating, bathing, combing hair, and cooking on my own. I always wanted to become independent and I am happy that I will be able to do so.   I thank my late father, mother and brother, the family of the donor, who donated hands and other organs and the doctors from Global Hospital who gave me a fresh lease of life,” Monica said.

Since the patient will be prone to infections, she will have to stay isolated while at home for several months. No visitors will be allowed at home, too. The patient has been instructed to avoid all social events and gatherings, restrict stepping out of the house unnecessarily, and follow the COVID protocols and guidelines. 

“In the time of pandemic, a family in Chennai became a beacon of hope for the young girl by deciding to donate hands as this is very rare donation,” said said Dr Vivek Talaulikar, Chief Executive Officer, Global Hospital.

“We are glad that after a successful west India’s First Bilateral Hand Transplant, Monika would be able to lead a normal life post her recovery. The successful completion of the surgery and discharge of the patient is significant as this was never attempted before by any private hospital in India. Timely support by the authorities ensured safe and speedy transport of the organ from Chennai as keeping the transit time minimal was crucial. I hope that this successful surgery would bring hope to many other patients waiting for organs and create a drive towards organ donation especially of hands,” Dr Talaulikar said.

Global Hospitals located at Lower Parel, Mumbai is the latest addition to the geographical footprint of Gleneagles Global Hospitals India. The 450-bed facility comprises of 17-stories, housing state-of-the-art infrastructure and advanced medical care facilities. The hospital offers end-to-end clinical, surgical and diagnostic services. The Hospital offers advanced Endoscopic procedures, Hepatobiliary and Liver Surgeries, Surgical and Medical Gastroenterology, Bariatric Surgery and Transplants. The hospital is a centre of excellence for Orthopaedics, Joint Replacement, Knee Replacement, Hip Replacement surgery. The hospital has round-the-clock services for Emergencies, Critical Care and Trauma.

Gleneagles Global Hospitals has multi-super speciality hospitals in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. The brand is the most preferred hospital group for multi-organ transplants in Asia region. The parent entity of Gleneagles Global Hospitals is IHH Healthcare, a leading premium integrated healthcare provider with a network of 84 hospitals and more than 16,000 licensed beds. It is one of the largest healthcare groups in the world by market capitalisation and is listed in the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia and Main Board of SGX-ST. IHH is a leading player in the home markets of Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and India, and in their key growth markets of China and Hong Kong. 

Pic caption: Dr. Amresh Baliarsing, Senior Plastic and Microvascular Surgeon from Bombay Hospital, Ex-Professor and Head, Dept. of Plastic Surgery, Nair Hospital, Mumbai, Dr. Nilesh G Satbhai, Consultant Plastic, Aesthetic, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgeon, Global Hospitals, Mumbai,  Patient Ms Monika More and Dr. Vivek Talaulikar, CEO - Global Hospital




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