A four-month-old baby from Novosibirsk, a young man from the Amur Region and two Siberian retirees – only yesterday they were unfamiliar with each other, but thanks to one donor they got a chance for a new life.
The child got a part of the liver, the man got the heart, and the elderly got the cornea and the ability to see. Today, at the Novosibirsk Regional Hospital, the patients got to know each other, thanked the doctors and told their difficult stories.
Alexandra Pucherevina almost immediately noticed that something was wrong with her newborn son Yegorka.
– He was very yellow, even more brown, and the stomach was swollen. Yegorka behaved very restlessly. And all this grew, – the woman recalls.
The doctors said that only a liver transplant would help the baby. The head of the family was suitable for donation, and they began to prepare him for the operation, but suddenly another donor appeared in the database.
Egorka was four months old at the time of the operation.
– Probably, it is very difficult to prepare for such a diagnosis, I always wanted to hope for the best. When they said that there would be a new donor, there were mixed feelings. We were preparing for one thing, but it turned out to be another. But there was not a single drop of doubt that the doctors would help in solving our problem. Real professionals work here. We are grateful that our baby was given a chance to continue life. Probably the most difficult moment was the transfer of the child. I accompanied him to the operating room and handed him over to the doctors. Feeling as if you are tearing off a piece of yourself. And you are ready to go under the knife yourself and spend 10 hours on the operating table, taking all this pain upon yourself, rather than giving it away, ” says Alexander Pucherevin with tears in his eyes.
Yegorka feels well now. He is under the supervision of doctors.
What is known about the donor
Neither gender nor age of the donor in the hospital did not speak – it was unethical.
– The man fell ill and, unfortunately, died. Treatment does not always end in victory, it all depends on the nature of the disease. Most often, we are talking about patients who have some kind of vascular catastrophe in the brain and the volume of the lesion is so large that it becomes incompatible with life. This is, of course, a tragedy for the family. We are perfectly aware that the death of a loved one is a terrible event. But in some cases it turns out that it is possible to prevent the death of other people. And the uniqueness of transplantation is that with the help of technology it is possible to reduce the number of deaths. We hope that the relatives will be comforted by the fact that some of their deceased loved ones continue to live in some other person, ”says Alexander Bykov, chief transplantologist of the Novosibirsk region.
The story of a young man
37-year-old Maxim Samokhin received a heart from a donor. He felt bad back in 2017:
– I began to choke, there was swelling, shortness of breath. I go up to the fifth floor – I will rest three times. Although I ran before: 5 seconds and already on the fifth floor. They said at first that I smoke a lot. Nothing helped. The swelling is very strong. So much so that he could not wear shoes. Have set cardiomyopathy. The regional hospital in Blagoveshchensk treated me and sent me to Novosibirsk. They said they needed a transplant.
In 2018, Maxim moved to Novosibirsk to wait for a transfer. In March, a donor was found.
– Of course, it was scary. It’s not appendicitis. But where to go? You can’t go through with a battery for a long time. Now I feel great.
“Novosibirsk should provide 50-60 effective donors”
“A patient who dies of heart failure can do nothing but a transplant or an artificial heart,” explains Alexander Chernyavsky, director of the National Medical Research Center named after Academician E. N. Meshalkin.
The second option is temporary and costly.
– The price of a domestic heart is in the region of 4–4.5 million rubles, imported samples – up to 10 million rubles. As a preliminary stage for transplantation, this is a significant financial loss. When it comes to saving a person’s life, then in such a situation money is not counted, but nevertheless there are certain difficulties. There are not as many artificial hearts as we would like. The waiting list for heart transplantation is from 32 to 40 people. And at every minute an exacerbation can occur, which can be fatal, ”says the doctor. – Novosibirsk, with good work of donor bases, should issue – maybe this term is harsh, but medical – 50-60 effective donors. From one you can take two corneas, two kidneys, a liver for one or two people, heart, lungs, intestines, pancreas. As a result, approximately 500-600 lives can be saved in a year. Many people still believe that transplantation is on the verge of criminal and real. This is not true.
The system is now developing, but the coronavirus has seriously complicated the work. In 2019, 40 kidney transplants, 40 liver transplants and 15 heart transplants were performed in the region. According to doctors, all these indicators have decreased in the pandemic by at least half.
Doctors took the corneas of the eyes from the same donor. They were transplanted to two pensioners – Nina Makarenko and Gennady Sirotkina. Now they can see fully.
– Patients had corneal leukemia – a violation of its transparency, as a result of which they lost their vision. There are many reasons for the violation of the transparency of the cornea – these are severe injuries, inflammatory diseases and dystrophy. The patient is losing sight. It is impossible to restore the transparency of the cornea, so the only method is transplantation. The question is always only about donor material, and then about nursing patients. They need to be constantly monitored, therapy prescribed, – explains Angela Fursova, chief ophthalmologist of the Siberian Federal District, head of the ophthalmological department of the SNOKB.
Now pensioners see well and are also under the supervision of doctors.
Earlier, the NGS told the story of Tatyana Mankova. She went to one party, after which she felt unwell. The last thing she remembers is how she got to the infectious diseases hospital. The next memory is how she woke up in the Meshalkin clinic and heard from the doctors that she had a heart transplant. Tatiana was shocked and could not believe it. Then she learned that she had miraculously survived. What was it like to accept someone else’s heart, what difficulties does the girl face now and how has her attitude towards life changed?