Organ donation: ‘I want to work for children waiting for an organ transplant’

As part our series on organ donation awareness we bring to you the story of Suhana Sheikh, who just a year back was struggling to find an organ donor. Her life has changed immensely after her heart transplant and she wishes to do something for children who are waitlisted for an organ transplant. It is also difficult for her father to bear the expenses of the life-saving drugs she need


It was a celebratory atmosphere at Fortis Hospital, Mulund on Monday, August 20 as Suhana completed a year since her heart transplant.

Suhana Shaikh is a 14-year-old girl who resides in Mulund, Mumbai. She was diagnosed with end-stage heart disease (cardiomyopathy) in April 2017. The person who donated the heart to Suhana was a 47-year-old woman who was declared brain-dead in due to intra cerebral bleed. Her family had consented to donate her liver, heart and kidneys.

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When Fortis Hospital received a call on August 19 for a potential organ donor, the hospital administration didn’t think twice before going ahead with the surgery even though the family didn’t have sufficient funds for the same. As the health condition of Suhana was deteriorating.


While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Suhana’s father, Ajad Alli Adam Shaikh, said, “Her health has improved a lot since her heart transplant, but we had to take her out of school due to the fear that she could easily get an infection. She is now home-schooled with the help of private tutors.”

Shaikh further said, “The same time, last year, we were praying for a heart so that our daughter could live. Things have changed for the better now, and we have our daughter with us and that is the source of my joy. Suhanan is in good health. We also keep the donor family in our prayers, as they took the brave decision to donate her heart. We also pray for the soul for the woman who left this world, but gifted our daughter a new

life. We are forever grateful to this family.”

Suhana who remembers the contribution that the donor family made for her, said, “I will now celebrate August 20, as my second birthday for the rest of my life, as this is the day that I got a new chance to live.”

Organ Donation-Month

Suhana says that she likes to dance and wishes to be a dancer. Doctors said that her cheerful attitude and determination and the commitment to dance has helped her recover faster.

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Suhana said, “I wish to help children like me who are facing similar problems and are waiting for a heart transplant or any other organ transplant. I want to work for this cause for organ donation.”

But not everything is perfect in this newly found life of Suhana. She has to undergo a blood test once in a month and a biopsy once in a year. So far she has been through two biopsies, so far.

Shaikh’s father is a BEST bus driver by profession and finds it hard to cope with the expenses. He said, “The cost of the immunosuppressant medications is Rs 15,000. I just earn Rs 18,000 a month, we find very difficult to run a house and continue post-surgery treatment, but we do not have an alternative. The government should do something to reduce the price of these valuable life-saving drugs.”