Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) is a kidney disorder that occurs when a complex of two immune system proteins that helps the body fight infections settles in the kidneys, eventually disrupting kidney function. These proteins help the body fight infections, but when they form abnormal complexes that settle in the kidneys, serious problems can result. For 60-year-old Ferdinand Ntiburumusi, 2008 was when he first began to see symptoms.
Unbeknownst to him, he dismissed these symptoms simply as possible stomach indigestion. He subsequently began having gastric discomfort, digestion problems and an aversion to certain food smells, it never occurred to him that these two events could be related. But the two were most likely directly linked to the kidney condition Ferdinand finally learned he had. “I noticed there was blood in my urine and very strangely, doctors found a 5 mm kidney stone.”
Ferdinand visited his doctor who decided to give him a lithotripsy procedure to remove the kidney stone. “After the lithotripsy, the doctor advised me to take Urocit K (a potassium-based compound to inhibit the formation of uric acid stones) for the rest of my life. Some traces of hematuria persisted, which I thought was a consequence of the kidney stone episode.” As the hematuria intensified, Ferdinand became alarmed enough to see a Urologist. After multiple checkups and follow up tests; including a Cystoscopy to check bladder cancer. The doctor advised Ferdinand to see the best Nephrologist in India and preferably in Fortis Hospital - Mulund, Mumbai.
Not willing to take the risk of further tests and doctor visits, Ferdinand decided to reach out to Vaidam Health. “I was called back the very same day by a Vaidam case manager who carefully explained the procedure to me. I was very specific that I needed to see a doctor in Fortis Hospital, which is one of the best kidney hospitals in India and my case manager was kind enough to make the necessary appointments. In addition to the hospital appointments, Ferdinand’s case manager applied for his medical visa and also made arrangements for Ferdinand and his wife Galina to stay in Mumbai.
Ferdinand and Galina arrived at Mumbai on the 13th of June and were received at the airport by a Vaidam patient relation executive. “Our case manager had made the appointment with Dr. Vikas Gupte the following week, so we had a few days to relax”. The following week, Ferdinand arrived at Fortis Hospital in the morning for his initial consultation with Dr. Gupte. “He (Dr. Gupte) is young and a very bright Nephrologist who went through the normal diagnostics and concluded that I needed multiple tests done”, recounts Ferdinand. The tests results showed that Ferdinand’s Creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) levels were far outside of the normal range.
Over the next few weeks, Dr. Gupte carefully treated Ferdinand’s nephropathy, closely monitoring his progress. “Dr. Gupte is a very well-read and energetic doctor with a real passion for medicine. I am so fortunate to have him as my doctor.” After almost a month in India, Ferdinand and Galina made their way back to their home in Burundi. For the time being, the doctor has advised Ferdinand to return after three months for further checkups. Although his condition is stable, there could be a possibility of further complications arising which may require a kidney transplant.
“I am feeling a lot better now, but I will be back after 3 months for my appointment with Dr. Gupte,” says Ferdinand. The journey for Ferdinand is still a long one, but with much-needed help and assistance, his recovery is almost inevitable.