Rachanond Rungsawang, 26, seen on the screen with his mother, said he had contemplated suicide before doctors gave him a completely new lease on life with the triple-transplant operation. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
Siriraj Hospital announced Wednesday it conducted a successful heart, liver and kidney transplant on a 26-year-old man who had lived with chronic organ diseases for almost two decades.
This operation is thought to be the first of its kind in Asia, and the 15th in the world, according to the hospital.
The 12-hour operation, carried out on Dec 3, was performed by a team led by Dr Yongyut Sirivatanauksorn, vice director of Siriraj Hospital.
The recipient, Rachanond Rungsawang from Bangkok, had suffered from kidney problems since the age of 8 which later led to serious heart and liver diseases. Before the operation, he had to go to hospital three times a week for dialysis.
The need for a multiple transplant took on more urgency in August last year when he was admitted to Siriraj Hospital after his organs began to fail.
His chance of a new lease of life came on Dec 3, when the donated organs from a single donor proved a match.
Dr Visit Vamvanij, director of Siriraj Hospital, praised the team of surgeons and medical staff, saying the success of the operation was down to team work.
The 3 million baht medical bill was partly covered by the universal healthcare package and the hospital's fund for the poor.
"He [Mr Rachanond] looks good. There was no rejection of the new organs and the heart, liver and kidneys are working properly," said Dr Yongyut.
"It is now five months since the operation and we have had no cause to worry," he added.
Mr Rachanond was discharged from hospital on Feb 23, but was being closely monitored.
The hospital said it decided to announce the operation after concluding that Mr Rachanond was in the clear.
Mr Rachanond said he was extremely grateful to the donor and could not thank the medical team enough for giving him a fresh chance at life. He said he had contemplated suicide because his condition had made his quality of life unbearable.
"I can walk now and live a normal life. I am no longer tired when I walk. I can help my family and I am no longer a burden any more," he told reporters.
Siriraj Hospital is the country's leading transplant hospital. It performed its first kidney transplant in 1973, and its first combined liver and kidney transplant in 1999.
So far it has successfully transplanted 1,298 kidneys, 321 livers and 67 hearts.
Learn from listening
Click "play" to listen to Siriraj conducts first triple organ transplant and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.
burden : to give somebody a duty, responsibility, etc. that causes worry, difficulty or hard work - เป็นภาระ
contemplate : to think carefully about and accept the possibility of something happening; to think about whether you should do something, or how you should do something - พิจารณา, คิด
dialysis (noun): a process for separating substances from a liquid, especially for taking waste substances out of the blood of people with damaged kidneys - การบวนการกรองของเสียจากเลือดของคนไข้
donor (noun): a person who gives blood or a part of his or her body to be used by doctors in medical treatment - ผู้บริจาค, ผู้ให้, ผู้บริจาคเลือด
liver : a large organ in the body that cleans the blood and produces bile - ตับ
organ : a part of the body that has a particular purpose, such as the heart or the brain - อวัยวะ
recipient : someone who receives something - ผู้ได้รับ
rejection : when someone refuses to accept, use or believe someone or something - การปฏิเสธ
transplant : a medical operation in which a damaged organ, etc. is replaced with one from another person - การปลูกถ่าย
unbearable : too painful or unpleasant for you to continue to experience - ซึ่งไม่สามารถทนได้, ซึ่งทนไม่ไหว, ซึ่งเหลืออด