How His Aunt's Living Kidney Donation Saved His Life

How does a patient obtain a kidney transplant when he lives in New York, his live donor resides in India, and a pandemic and visa deadlines add complex layers to the transplant process?

He takes the recommendations from friends and coworkers to contact the Adult Kidney Transplantation program at Weill Cornell Medicine to learn more about the transplant process.

“From day one, the team at Weill Cornell Medicine was fantastic at helping us navigate this overwhelming process,” says Prashant Praveen, 33. “When we found a willing donor--my aunt in India--the team helped us obtain a visa for her and scheduled all of her tests within a week of her arrival in United States.”

Addressing Challenges to Donating During COVID-19

Unfortunately, Prashant’s aunt wasn’t a direct match, but the team guided his family through the paired donation program and helped coordinate with the National Kidney Registry (NKR) to schedule surgery for his aunt in late March.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic delayed his aunt’s surgery indefinitely. But the Weill Cornell Medicine team didn’t skip a beat.

“In coordination with NKR, the team transferring my aunt’s medical records to another hospital in Washington, D.C., who were still continuing their transplant program, so she could donate prior to the expiration of her visa,” Prashant says.

On May 6th, his aunt was able to donate one of her kidneys on his behalf.

Recovery after Transplantation Surgery

Prashant’s surgery was scheduled for the end of August, with pandemic precautions in place.

“I was tested for COVID-19 several times, and again on the day of my discharge. Throughout my stay at the hospital after the surgery, the team of doctors and nurses did a great job watching my recovery while teaching me how to care for myself once I would go home,” he recalls.

They had him walking the next day and taught him how to take care of my new kidney, including quizzing him about each of his medications.

“My recovery is going great so far,” Prashant says. “I am now able to resume my normal life, including being able to run/walk two miles every morning!”

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