Maharashtra: 19-year-old liver transplant survivor secures 96.52 pc in MHT-CET exams

A student of Rupibai Bora New English School at Ahmednagar, Yash, who underwent a liver transplant has excelled in the MHT-CET exam with a top score of 96.52 per cent.

Three years ago, Yash Galepalli’s (19) joy knew no bounds when he scored 91 per cent in his Class 10 board exams. A student of Rupibai Bora New English School at Ahmednagar, Yash had been looking forward to pursuing higher studies in the city when he was diagnosed with Wilson’s disease, an inherited condition that causes the body to retain excess copper. He then underwent a liver transplant and two years later, has excelled in the MHT-CET exam with a top score of 96.52 per cent

“My father works at MIDC, Ahmednagar, and my mother is a beedi worker. Our financial condition was not strong and hence, my dream was to become an engineer,” Yash said.

Following Yash’s diagnosis in 2018, his maternal aunt had decided to donate a part of her liver and a liver transplant operation was performed at Sahyadri Super Specialty Hospital, Nagar Road. On Tuesday, Sahyadri Hospital felicitated the teeenager for fighting the condition against all odds and excelling in MHT-CET exams held this year.

If not treated, Wilson’s disease can cause severe brain damage, liver failure and death. In Yash’s case, the condition warranted an urgent liver transplantation, according to Dr Bipin Vibhute, a liver transplant surgeon at Sahyadri Hospital. He said that Yash was diagnosed with Wilson’s disease after reporting constant swelling in his hands and feet, episodes of nose bleeding and burning sensation in his eyes.

With the treatment cost estimated at Rs 12 lakh, Sahyadri Hospital had pitched in Rs 2.5 lakh and the remaining amount was raised as part of the ‘Mission Prerna’ programme in association with the Chief Minister’s Medical Assistance Fund, Tata Trust, Transplants – Help the Poor Foundation, Milap, the Prime Minister’s Fund, Rotary International, Oswal Bandhu Samaj and the Pravin Agarwal Foundation.

Group Medical Director at Sahyadri Hospital, Dr Sunil Rao said, “With a view to make paediatric tertiary healthcare easily accessible to all, Sahyadri Hospital had launched ‘Mission Prerana’ in association with the Chief Minister’s Medical Assistance Cell and Rotary International. Under this groundbreaking initiative, Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital, Nagar Road, has been transformed into a dedicated paediatric tertiary care unit, which has been beneficial to many underprivileged children.”

When diagnosed with the condition, a person’s liver does not release copper into bile as it should. As the copper builds up in the liver, it begins to damage the organ. The liver then releases the copper directly into the bloodstream, which carries it throughout the body. The copper build-up leads to damage in the kidneys, brain and eyes.

Liver transplant and gastrointestinal surgeon at Sahyadri Hospital, Dr Dinesh Zirpe said that Yash’s transplantation surgery had lasted for 10 hours. Considering his age and multi-system involvement, it was a high-risk procedure, he added. However, Yash was discharged within seven days of the transplant. Two years later, he leads an ideal example of how life can be after a successful transplant.

“With adequate care and a positive attitude, there is no limit to what one can do,” Dr Vibhute said.

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