Sumit Bhattarai

Name: Sumit Bhattarai, 38

Date of Transplantation:

Donor: Father

Place of Transplantation: Sanjay Gandhi Institute, Lucknow, India

 Diagnosed with a hereditary kidney disease at the young age of 21, Sumit had a successful transplant in India. 16 years later, he says he has never had to be hospitalized after his surgery and the only difference in his life from that of “normal” people is the medicine he has to take. And life certainly seems to have been rewarding for Sumit. After his transplant, Sumit went on to get a degree in Journalism and to utilize that journalism degree; he recently started a health magazine called the Health Post. He got married 10 years after his transplant surgery. He has been married for six years now and has a son who is four years old. He is the sole-breadwinner of his home and runs a successful business that supplies medical equipment to hospitals around Nepal.

The hardship he suffered while going to India for transplantation urged him to spend time helping patients by linking transplant patients from villages in Nepal reach a trusted institution in Lucknow, counseling them before and after transplant, and connecting the transplant community by taking patients to participate in transplant games in India. Ever since transplant started in Nepal, he has encouraged patients to receive treatment in their own country having full experienced the money, the energy and the time it takes to go to India. In fact, as soon as transplant facility became available in Bir Hospital, NAMS, he admitted his brother Suchit Bhattarai as the first transplant patient at Bir. Although the transplant was successful, his brother unfortunately died 8 months after the transplant. It was a difficult time for him but it has only made his resolve to help transplant patients stronger. He is an active participant of Aarogya who participates in the Nepal transplant games, and other awareness campaigns regularly. He says that the games allow him to test and show his athletic ability after 16 years of transplant. 

Message to potential donors:

Relatives should help their family by donating an organ because it gives patients a chance at living a second life. People who hesitate can take his dad as an example, he is doing really well.

Thoughts on Aarogya:

It has done a wonderful thing by organizing the Nepal Transplant Games every year. These activities contribute to the upliftment of a transplantee’s confidence and faith in him or herself. Through Aarogya, doctor-patient relationships have strengthened because of more regular interactions outside the examination room. Aarogya has also made the transplant community closer. At present, if a fellow transplant patient needs any form of help, the formation of a support group has made it easier to contribute towards fulfilling his/her need quickly efficiently.

“Kidney patients in Nepal today are very lucky. Many people suffered a lot in India because of the language barrier, lack of accommodation in India and extra expenditure on travel and living for the patient party.”

“Team work is the most important element in ensuring success. Doctors and patients have to work together to make life after transplantation a success story. If doctors are not receptive to patients life becomes very discouraging for them. Doctors like Dr. Pukar who is willing to pick up a phone call from a patient even at midnight helps transplant patients feel secure about themselves.”

What more can Aarogya do?

  • Add more dialysis machines to expand the dialysis service
  • Set up OPD service for transplant patients at a low cost as transplant patients need regular check-ups, at least once a week.

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