Being physically fit all her life, 22 yrs Feven Tesfaye was astonished when she began to feel severe stomach pains. At that point, she concluded it as food poisoning. “I felt below par, sluggish, generally ill though I couldn't put my finger on what was the problem. I started to get strong stomach pains and had to lie down to alleviate the pain, something that for me is unheard of”, said Feven.
Over the next few weeks, Feven began experiencing symptoms that she had never felt before, “My stomach pains began to ease as my urine began to become gradually darker yellow by the day. I also had smelly diarrhea. I thought I was dehydrated and started to drink a lot more water. This had the effect of decreasing the intensity of the color of my urine by day though by morning its color had darkened again”. Some of her family members also began to notice the whites of her eyes becoming yellow, while her skin had lost a lot of its luster.
Fearing the worst, Feven visited her local doctor who at first glance suspected Jaundice. “I was kept in hospital overnight 'for observation' and the doctors put me on a saline drip.” It was a restless night for Feven, although pain-free; she awoke the next morning and discussed the possible causes of the Jaundice with her doctor. With her blood tests already underway, the doctors ruled out Hepatitis. “The doctors could not diagnose what was wrong with me, after numerous tests, an ultrasound to detect gallstones or other obstruction of the bile duct. Eventually, the doctors pointed towards a possible liver transplant which appeared to highlight some of her symptoms; however, this was not conclusive.”
Her doctor referred her to a specialist gastroenterologist. Not willing to take further chances, Feven began looking for a specialist online. “I began searching online for the “best gastroenterologist” and “cost of liver transplant” - my searches led me to Vaidam.com. I left a query on the website and on the same day I got a call from a Vaidam case manager.” Feven’s case manager explained the procedure and provided her with top 10 liver transplant hospitals in India to choose from. In the meantime, Feven sent her medical reports, blood tests and doctor’s recommendations to have analyzed.
Feven arrived in New Delhi on the 10th of July, having opted to be treated at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, her case manager made the necessary appointments with the best liver specialist in India- Dr. Arvinder Singh Soin. By then her case manager had collected and collated all the blood tests and ultrasound results and had emailed them to Dr. Soin. After carefully analyzing Feven’s reports, Dr. Soin’s initial analysis was consistent with a blocked bile duct (which runs from the liver to the gut) with the bile instead being discharged out through the kidneys into the urine and also being carried around the cells of the body by the blood. As a result, the liver which produced the enzymes was working overtime to compensate.
During her first consultation, Dr. Soin conducted a physical evaluation, “I was all set to hear that I was suffering from obstructive jaundice and that I would need a Liver transplant”. Nevertheless, after Dr. Soin’s initial analysis, he decided to pursue a different line of treatment. The following day Dr. Soin, ordered further tests to determine the course of the treatment. He suggested an endoscopic procedure, where a tube with a small camera attached to the end is passed down the throat in a sedated state so that the bile duct could be examined. After assessing the bile duct, he suggested a stent (small tube) be put into the bile duct so that the bile could be drained away, relieving the blood from the liver.
Two days after the endoscopy procedure, the stent was inserted successfully and Feven’s condition began to stabilize. This procedure would give Feven an additional 8-10 years before she needed a liver transplant, much needed time for her. After closely examining Feven for two more days, Dr. Soin discharged her and signed off successfully. The little experiment was successful.
Five days after first arriving in India, Feven made her way back to her home country of Ethiopia. “Thanks to quick thinking and the magical hands of Dr. Soin, I am much better without the need for any surgery. This procedure has added at least 10 more years to my life and I feel extremely grateful to the good doctor and to Vaidam, for introducing me to him.”
Vaidam wishes Feven a speedy recovery and a healthy long life ahead.