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Covid positive kabaddi player undergoes liver transplant in Chennai hospital | Chennai News – Times of India

CHENNAI: An accidental dose of rat poison pushed a 26-year-old national-level kabaddi player from Puducherry into coma, after he developed acute liver failure in May. Doctors incidentally found that he was positive for Covid-19. But a liver transplant surgery saved his life. On Thursday, doctors at the MGM healthcare declared him fit for discharge.
When he first met a doctor in Puducherry, Raghul Gandhi had jaundice. His condition worsened and he slipped into a deep coma two days later. “We thought there was little hope when he was shifted to our hospital. Yet, we decided to do an emergency liver transplant after ensuring that the virus had not invaded his lung,” said Dr Thiagarajan Srinivasan, director, Institute of Liver Diseases at MGM Healthcare.
But the biggest hurdle came in the form of lack of adequate cadaveric donations. In May, the state had just one liver donation, so the only option left with doctors was to look for donors from within the family.
Raghul’s brother was the most suitable donor. “Luckily, he had just recovered from Covid-19 and had good levels of antibodies against the virus. Antibodies from the organ and the steroids we use in the surgery also helped us treat the viral infection,” said liver transplant surgeon Dr Karthik Mathivanan.
An emergency meeting was called with experts from across the country. “All experts agreed transplant was the only option,” said Dr Srinivasan. After a 12-hour surgery amidst stringent Covid-protocols and bio-bubble in Covid-proof transport corridors, ICUs, wards and theatres throughout the entire hospital stay for nearly a fortnight, doctors declared Raghul fit for discharge.
“We expect him to resume his normal life soon,” he said, handing over a flower bouquet to Raghul. “I’m already feeling better and can’t wait to go back to my game,” he said.


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