August 10, 2010

School teacher goes back to teaching after a liver transplant

Revathi Ramanan, TNN, Aug 11, 2010, 01.53am IST

Liver Transplant Survival :
Understanding Liver Transplants Information for Patients

CHENNAI: "This is the longest that I have been away from school," said S Moorthy, a 55-year-old teacher who is all set to go back to teaching accountancy and auditing to Class XI students in his village after what he describes as a brief setback.'

Three weeks ago, Moorthy, who hails from Mathur village in Krishnagiri district, became the eighth person to successfully undergo a free liver transplant at Stanley Medical College and Hospital after he was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis caused by the Hepatitis C virus.

Moorthy who came to Chennai in June was told by doctors that a liver transplant was his only hope of survival. With liver transplants costing anything upwards of 30 lakh, it was impossible for Moorthy, a government school teacher, to afford one. He listed himself for transplant at a liver clinic without much hope.

Moorthy's case was given priority because he had a high MELD (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) score and luckily for him he found a matching donor at Stanley Medical College which performed the complicated transplant operation free of cost. "Just because a person is poor he shouldn't be denied the right to live. We hope to do many more such liver transplants free of cost for the poor and needy," said Dr R Surendran, director of the hospital's institute of surgical gastroenterology.

Tamil Nadu leads the states with 100 liver transplants since October 2008. The month of July was the busiest with 15 liver transplantations in a month. "Liver transplant is the most complicated transplant and the operation takes around 14-18 hours. The liver has approximately 3,6000 functions, so we have to be very careful and continuously monitor the vital stats of the patient," Dr Surendran said.

Moorthy, who has been working as a school teacher at Government Boys Higher Secondary School at Mathur for the past 29 years, cannot wait to get back to teaching though all his three children are well settled. "Teaching is my life and I hope to teach for at least four more years," he said.

His students, he said, miss him and call him frequently to inquire about his health and want him back as soon as he is fit. "It is only because of the doctors at Stanley and God's grace that I could get a liver transplant and am fit enough to go back to my students," said Moorthy.


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