'Baby Sanjay' to 'Dr Sanjay': Life comes full circle for India's first liver transplant recipient

"As a child, I used to ask my mother about the scars on my abdomen. When I grew up and had an idea about my life, I too decided to become a doctor, and thus finished my MBBS in 2021," he said.

Published: 16th November 2023 01:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2023 01:28 PM   |  A+A-

Sanjay Kandasamy-parents

Sanjay Kandasamy, centre, with his parents (Apollo Hospitals Twitter)


NEW DELHI: On this day in 1998, a team of doctors in Delhi performed India's first-ever successful liver transplant on Sanjay Kandasamy, barely 20 months old then.

Twenty-five years down the line, the boy has grown to become a doctor himself and set to tie the knot.

On Wednesday, an event was held here to mark the 25th anniversary of the feat achieved at the Apollo Indraprastha Hospitals.

Kandasamy, a Tamil Nadu native who had become rather famous as 'baby Sanjay', attended the event along with his parents.

Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of the event, he said, "I recently got engaged and will get married in March next year. This transplant gave me a second life. In fact, my fiancee called me today and wished me 'happy second life birthday'."

At the event, Apollo doctors announced that one-and-half-year-old Prisha had become the recipient in the 500th paediatric transplant surgery across the hospital chain.

The girl child, hailing from Bihar, also attended the event.

Noted actress Dimple Kapadia felicitated both the families during the event.

Apollo Hospitals Group Medical Director and senior paediatric gastroenterologist Anupam Sibal said more than 4,300 liver transplants, including 515 procedures in children, have been conducted at Apollo hospitals since the landmark transplant 25 years ago.

Prisha's mother Anjali Kumari said her daughter was born on May 6 last year and after three months, her body started turning yellow, a condition doctors call biliary atresia, following which she and her husband took her to a private hospital in Patna.

"After that she was referred to the private hospital in Delhi and her transplant took place in January this year," Kumari said.

Sanjay Kandasamy said he too had suffered from the same condition - biliary atresia.

He had received a slice of a liver from his father.

Kandasamy fondly calls Dr Sibal as "uncle Sibal" and said when he got engaged in the first week of November, he called him up to inform that 'baby Sanjay' who became a doctor in 2021 was now set to be married.

"As a child, I used to ask my mother about the scars on my abdomen. When I grew up and had an idea about my life, I too decided to become a doctor, and thus finished my MBBS in 2021, and now practising in my hometown Kanchipuram," he said.

Prisha's mother Kumari said she did not what future lies in store for her daughter, "but we hope she too will become a doctor like Sanjay.

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