Nine-months old, Zarouhi Singla was diagnosed with biliary atresia since she was born. Biliary atresia is a life-threatening condition in infants in which the bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not have normal openings.
Zarouhi is currently being treated at National University Hospital (NUH) paediatric intensive care unit. She has been in and out of the hospital for five months.
Her father, Sandeep Singla, has donated his liver to his daughter on 5 August. However, it was unsuccessful due to a vascular problem, and she is in a life support now.
The director of the paediatric organ transplant programme at NUH, Professor K. Prabhakaran said to The Straits Times that Zarouhi is very ill and unlikely to survive without re-transplantation.
“Usually the baby will appear normal at birth, but develops symptoms such as jaundice after the age of two to three weeks. At least 60 per cent of children with biliary atresia may develop liver failure that requires a liver transplant within the first two years of life,” he said. One in every 15,000 infants suffers from this condition and its cause is not clear.
Her mother, Neha Wilson, is currently assessing herself to be the next donor. However, the couple still reaches out for the standby donor, in case she does not eligible for her daughter.
The donor needs to be blood type O+, and they will cover all the medical expenses for the donor.
TOC asked a medical doctor on what risk does a donor face in the transplant, he said that the donor will only need to have a small portion of his/her liver cut out for the transplant and face a low risk.