Birmingham woman who was ‘slowly dying’ receives liver transplant
A Birmingham woman who has been given a ‘second chance’ after receiving a liver transplant has urged more people from the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community to become organ donors and save lives.
Sunaina Paul, 31, from Bearwood, who only ‘had months to live’ is recovering in hospital after receiving a life saving liver transplant on Tuesday.
A Birmingham family is celebrating after their beloved daughter Sunaina received a successful liver transplant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Sunaina, whose name means ‘beautiful eyes’ in Punjabi, was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia when she was born. This condition has a negative impact on the digestion process and causes damage to the liver as bile ducts become blocked and cirrhosis sets in.
Aged just seven weeks, Sunaina underwent an operation called the Kasai procedure to allow bile to flow from the liver to the intestines. However, doctors informed Sunaina’s family that she would need a liver transplant eventually.
Due to the lack of compatible donors from the BAME community, and her rare Blood Tye B, it meant Sunaina would have a long wait before a transplant could take place.
Sunaina’s medical condition worsened as she reached her teens with continual liver infections that lasted for weeks, sometimes months. She was often given oral antibiotics and intravenous antibiotics to stem the infections.
Sunaina’s health issues meant she was continually in and out of hospitals. Despite the horrendous pain and the impact of her condition on her life, Sunaina bravely put on a smile and battled with the daily complications. “I look okay but I inside I am slowly dying,” she said.
She spent her 31st birthday in hospital with doctors administering high does of medication to reduce the intense pain that she was enduring.
Her family launched an awareness campaign to find a donor and appealed for people from the BAME community to register as organ donors.
Mrs Jaimini Lakhani, Sunaina’s aunt, said: “If someone donates their organs it can save up to eight lives. Life is one of the most generous gifts that anybody can give and I would just ask people to really consider being an organ donor and have a conversation.”
When news of the coronavirus pandemic erupted it placed further stress and concerns on Sunaina. Her family were advised to shield her and keep her isolated due to her vulnerable health condition.
On Monday the family received the news they had been waiting for when Queen Elizabeth Hospital made contact and confirmed that a potential liver had been found for Sunaina.
The liver transplant took place the following day and the surgeons informed the family it had been a success.
Mrs Lakhani said: “We were just all in absolute joy, tears, such a bag of emotions.
“We just feel really blessed, we are massively grateful.
“We are just looking forward to bringing her home.”