Fresh start hoped for defiant Leeds teenager Akash after kidney transplant rejection fears

Akash Suryavansi, from Harehills, with his mum Tina. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Akash Suryavansi, from Harehills, with his mum Tina. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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A 17-year-old Leeds boy is hoping the New Year will signal a new start for him after a second lifesaving kidney transplant proved a success.

Akash Suryavansi, from Harehills, was born with polycystic kidney disease and after years of dialysis and a transplant from his mother Tina in his youth, his donated organ began to fail in July.

His desperate wait for a second transplant saw his health deteriorate, with 12-hour days of dialysis taking their toll and leading him to suffer a stroke in October.

Doctors eventually gave the teen’s dad Aky the go-ahead to donate one of his kidneys in November but following the complex procedure, Akash’s body began to reject the new organ before Christmas.

Tina revealed that following an anxious few weeks her son appears to have weathered the storm after he was plied with steroids and anti-rejection drugs to rescue his kidney.

“It’s the best Christmas present we could have hoped for,” she said. “He’s drinking normally, he’s got his energy back and he’s looking better and putting weight on. We are just grateful top have come through the last 12 months.”

She explained that Akash is now progressing well at home and is in temporary isolation until March to steer him clear of infection, which is an increased risk due to the nature of his transplant.

When Akash first needed a transplant 11 years ago both parents offered to be donors but Aky was rejected because his blood group did not match. But these ABO-incompatible transplants are now possible with the use of drugs to suppress the immune system.

The average wait for a kidney transplant in Yorkshire is 1,114 days but due to a shortage of donors from ethnic minorities, Akash could have been made to wait a year longer without Aky’s donation.

Tina said: “Next year is going to be a new start – it’s his third chance at life. We’ve had a lovely, big family Christmas this year and Akash is just enjoying being well.”

The family have been major supporters of the YEP-backed Be A Hero campaign, led by LTH, which saw around 27,000 people sign the NHS Organ Donor Register in its first three months this year.

Aiming to tackle a Tough Mudder challenge in August in aid of LTH’s Leeds Children’s Transplant Team, the Suryavansis, who were praised in the YEP Best of Health Awards 2015 for their bravery, are keen to continue to offer their support.

“We want to continue with organ donation awareness and that’s still at the top of our agenda and always will be,” Tina added.