Pratima Lohani on Love and Organ Donation

Name: Pratima Lohani, 30

Date of Transplantation:

Donor: Bikram Lohani (Husband)

Place of Transplantation: Bir Hospitals, NAMS, Nepal

Bikram talks about the importance of love and translating that into life for your wife.

 

It’s quite rare to see a husband donating a kidney to his wife in a place like Nepal where men are discouraged from treating their wives as their equals. More often than not, men will readily marry another woman, either of their own will or under pressure from their parents, or stop supporting their wives if she develops a disease that leads to kidney failure. But when I asked Pratima if she experienced the same kind of abandonment from her in-laws and husband, she replied that not only her husband, but even her in laws were willing to donate their kidney if her husband’s kidney was not suitable for transplantation. When I expressed how surprising this news was, she proudly said, “We actually had an intercaste marriage too.” The acceptance of inter-caste marriage is almost as rare as a husband donating his kidney to his wife, especially in rural areas. A case like Pratima’s shows that as people get more educated they start to make changes to their lifestyles so their decisions aren’t completely based on age-old biases. Allowing inter-caste marriage was perhaps the first step towards treating two humans as equal regardless of sex, caste, race or creed. Cases like these, where parents encourage their son to fully support his wife during such difficult times emanate a ray of hope and promise for the future of gender equality in the field of transplantation in Nepal.

Pratima had her transplant done in Bir Hospital, NAMs, two years ago. She had been married for 14 years with two sons when she discovered her kidney disease. According to her, she got lucky as a transplant facility had already been developed in Nepal which eliminated the need for her to spend time, effort and money in neighboring India. She also does not work herself, although she does help out a little bit in the Guest House she and her husband own. She is not yet self-sufficient but has expressed great enthusiasm to work somewhere for which she will require some training.

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