Zainab with daughter Alizeh Raza. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An infant from Abu Dhabi who received a section of the liver from her dad more than a year ago is now doing well, thanks to the due diligence and seamless processing of her case at an international hospital branch here.

Two-year-old Alizeh Raza, was detected with biliary atresia, a chronic condition in which the body rejects the liver, almost three months after her birth in early 2017.

Her Pakistani expat parents, Zainab and Yahya Ali Raza, consulted Dr Rajiv Tomar, consultant paediatric hepatologist at King’s College Hospital (KCH) London’s Abu Dhabi branch.

Chronic liver failure

“I noticed that Alizeh’s jaundice was not subsiding and her stools were very chalky, two signs of biliary atresia, which meant she was going into chronic liver failure,” Raza, her father said.

“In the first instance, the surgeon tried to conduct a surgery to save the liver which failed. When it became clear to us that Alizeh would require a transplant, I offered to donate a part of my liver for my daughter,” Raza said.

However, with a liver transplant being a very complicated surgery with equal risks for the donor as well as the recipient, Dr Tomar worked in tandem with the liver transplant unit of KCH in London.

They helped screen the donor, assess his capability for transplant, tweak his lifestyle and get Raza ready for the surgery.

The procedure took place in June 2017 in Britain.

Dr Professor Anil Dhawan, consultant paediatrician and paediatric hepatologist from KCH, London, who conducted the surgery on Alizeh, said: “Usually biliary atresia must be detected within two months of the child’s birth. But in this case, it was three months and so there was high risk.

Preparing the father, daughter

"When we decided that the father would be the donor, it was important to prepare the donor in terms of physical fitness, healthy diet choices and no obesity. Raza was a healthy man and he worked on maintaining optimum health.”

Raza quickly worked on a very healthy lifestyle, donated a section of his liver in June 2017.

He told Gulf News: “It was such a delight to watch my daughter pulled out of the jaws of death and bounce back to good health within three or four days of surgery. We had to keep her out of the public arena for nearly one-and-a-half months. Now, on immunosuppressants the baby is doing very well.

Zainab Raza, the girl's mother, told Gulf News: ‘We are thankful to KCH doctors from Abu Dhabi and London who perfectly coordinated with us and saved our daughter’s life.”

What is Biliary Atresia?

Biliary atresia, is a condition that indicates chronic liver failure in an infant where one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent. It can be congenital or acquired condition and the patient requires a liver transplant.