More than a decade after his mother donated a kidney to save his life, Leeds teenager Akash Suryavansi is set for another transplant – this time from his father.
The 17 year old, from Harehills, and his dad Aky will go under the knife at Leeds St James’s Hospital tomorrow in a bid to give Akash another chance at life.
Akash was born with polycystic kidney disease and spent six agonising years on the transplant waiting list until his mum Tina was found to be a suitable live donor after being tested for the second time.
But earlier this year doctors told his family that the transplanted kidney was failing and the teenager’s condition has deteriorated rapidly since July.
During the anxious wait for a kidney Akash has spent months having draining daily 12-hour dialysis sessions, and his health hit rock bottom when he suffered a stroke on October 14 brought on by his failing organ.
Akash, who has been in hospital for six weeks since his stroke, is now able to have the transplant from his father despite him being of a different blood group due to medical advances.
“He can’t wait for an organ to become available – this is our only option,” Tina said. “We want him to be enough to live a normal life, eat and drink what he wants and not be hooked up to a machine 12 hours a night.”
When Akash first needed a transplant 11 years ago both parents volunteered 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, although they do carry an increased risk of infection.
The average wait for a kidney 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.
The campaign saw around 27,000 people sign the NHS Organ Donor Register after it emerged that just 29 Leeds families donated organs last year as around 800 desperately ill people in Yorkshire awaited transplants.