Pramod Mane, a 31-year-old man from Pune was diagnosed with an end stage liver disease called Budd-Chiari syndrome in 2014. It led to formation of blood clot which then started affecting functions of other organs as well. A father of a five-year–old son he had sheer grit and determination and help of Good Samaritans to overcome financial problems for a liver transplant surgery.
Despite suffering from the disease that sapped all his energy and made him vulnerable to host of other health issues, his unflinching spirit ensured that monetary troubles did not come in way of his recovery.
He had an innovative way to raise money for his liver transplant. From keeping donation box at temples, bus stops; to door to door fund raising campaign by neighbours; and from doctors modifying the surgery for reducing the surgical costs to his colleagues pitching in through monthly salary cuttings for him; Pramod Mane, raised around Rs 15 lakh for his transplant.
“Till the time doctors decided for liver transplant I had already spent Rs 10 lakh, exhausting all my savings. The cost of the transplant was around Rs. 20 lakh,” said Pramod. When in many cases of organ transplants the unavailability of donor remains the big problem, in Pramod’s case, his wife was ready to donate part of her liver to her husband. It was unavailability of funds which was a big hindrance for his liver transplant surgery.
While crowd funding is a popular way use these days adapted to raise funds for medical expenses, this man from Pune went beyond the crowed funding approach. He used a creative way through the medium of donation boxes, these boxes were kept at Pune Mahanagar Pariwahan Mahamandal (PMPML)’s Katraj, Hadapsar and Swargate bus depots. Some of the donation boxes were also kept at some temples in the city and a few of the units in Hadapsar Industrial area. Around Rs 35 thousand were raised through these donation boxes only.
When Pramod’s neighbours came to know about this they were kind hearted and started a door to door campaign to raise funds for his surgery and managed to collected around one lakh rupees.
Pramod works as a worker at Pravin Masale in Pune. His colleagues and seniors, also pitched in to help support him to finance his surgery through monthly pay cuts from their salary which were able to raise around Rs 7 lakh. Pramod also took help of different trusts and relatives who helped him with around 5 lakh rupees.
Pramod added, “Liver transplant was the only option left to me, but I did not have money for the surgery. My family members gave me courage and we discovered many creative ways to raise funds. My father visited offices of PMPML, Hadapsar Industrial Association and trusts of different temples. He explained everything to the officers and sought permission to keep the donation boxes. When my colleagues and neighbours came to know about my surgery, they also took active participation in helping me in whichever way they could. They literally went door to door and had collect funds.”
“In the donation box many had dropped one rupee coins. I was overwhelmed by this small gesture of kindness also. It is only because of all these generous people that I am alive today,” said Pramod, who is father of five-year-old son.
When doctors saw his will to undergo transplant and studied his financial situation, they also pitched in with their own way. The surgery involved replacement of Inferior Vena Cava (IVC); largest vein in the human body. While, the cost of synthetic graft of IVC is around two lakh rupees, the doctors decided to make a graft by using veins of cadaver which cost them just a few thousands. Also, Sahyadri Hospital in Pune, where the surgery was performed, made the drugs and tests free or at discounted rate available to him.
Dr Bipin Vibhute, Liver Transplant surgeon at Sahyadri Multispecialty Hospital who recently performed the liver transplant on Pramod, said, “Liver transplant was the only option available. It is very rare that veins of cadaver are used to replace IVC, but we took it as challenge as we wanted to reduce the surgical cost. The patient and the recipient, both are doing great now and patient will soon start routine activity.”
“When patients come to us for liver transplant, the major concern is cost and availability of donor. But, Pramod proved that if patient’s willpower is strong, then all the hurdles can be overcome,” added Vibhute. Post-surgery, Pramod will soon resume his work by the end of this month.