Transplant Operation Gives Teen With Wilson’s Disease a Second Chance

According to a story from the Hindustan Times, seventeen year old Yash Galpelli was born with Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic disorder. For a long time, he had no idea what illness he had. His eyes burned, his nose bled, and his hands and feet would swell up without warning. However, a liver transplant operation performed last November will finally allow him some relief.

About Wilson’s Disease

Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder in which the body is unable to process and excrete copper normally. Therefore, this metal accumulates in the body and causes a range of symptoms. It can ultimately be lethal without intervention. This disorder is caused by a genetic mutation affecting the ATP7B gene. Symptoms include nosebleeds, vomiting, weakness, tremors, fluid in the abdomen, muscle stiffness, limb swelling, difficulty talking, jaundice, anxiety, hallucinations, itching, and personality changes. It can lead to more serious complications such as liver failure or liver cancer, as well as kidney issues. Wilson’s disease is usually treated with dietary changes such as a low copper diet and avoiding copper cooking materials, as well as certain medications. Most medications can have serious side effects, however. A liver transplant can be curative but it is usually only done with patients who experience liver complications or who otherwise fail to respond to other approaches. To learn more about Wilson’s disease, click here.

Yash’s Story

Yash’s operation was the first live donor liver transplant to take place in a young patient at the Sahyadri Hospital. Thanks to the liver’s remarkable regeneration ability, Yash’s own aunt was able to donate a portion of her liver for the procedure, which took around ten hours to complete. 

Yash, who was close to taking his examinations for Class 12, was too disoriented to adequately prepare himself. However, the surgery has changed everything for him:

“Now after the surgery, I feel I have got a new lease of life.”

His family was not able to afford the costly operation on their own, but the Galpelli family found support from the chief minister’s fund for medical assistance as well as the the hospital itself. The operation was also supported by Rotary International, Tata Trusts, and The Pravin Agarwal Foundation. This allowed Yash to get the operation for free.

Now cured of his Wilson’s disease, Yash no longer has to worry about his disturbing symptoms.


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