When Inaam Abdul Hamid moved to Qatar from Syria with her husband and young family three years ago, she knew she would be able to give her family a better life.
She didn’t know that she would also be able to give one of her children the gift of another chance at life with the help of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation – just one of the mainly clinical teams that has been recognized by the Joint Commission International (JCI) who this week gave the Corporation the gold seal of approval for quality and safety.
Inaam’s Eldest daughter Lilas had developed kidney disease at age seven and the condition was worsening.
“I saw her suffering every day and naturally as her mother I wanted to do something to help her,” Mrs. Abdul Hamid said. “It was affecting her in so many ways – she couldn’t do the things other young girls her age did. As a mother this is very hard to see.”
That help would literally give the gift of life to her daughter – she would donate one of her kidneys. As in all live donations in Qatar, the procedure took place at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) after a series of exhaustive clinical, psychological and ethical investigations.
Donor surgery at HMC for kidney transplantation is carried out by highly trained surgical teams through state-of-the-art laparoscopy, which is an advanced technique involving only a small incision – this means the patients have a shorter recovery time. After the procedure, both Lilas and her mother left hospital a week later in good health which continues, thanks to the follow-up care from HMC’s network of hospitals.
That was in 2014 and Lilas is now 11 and thriving – attending school and playing with her friends. Lilas, who before her operation had wanted to be an artist, now wants to be a doctor. “She’s going to school and living a happy life,’ said her mother. “Donating a kidney to my daughter was the easiest decision I have ever made.”
Meanwhile, Inaam, who had desperately wanted another child and had been trying to conceive for seven years, fell pregnant and in February, gave birth to daughter Lamar.
“It is like being blessed twice,” said Inaam who attributes her daughter’s survival to the team at the Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation and HGH.
All procedures, related to organ donation and transplantation in Qatar are free of charge for all patients; both Qatari citizens and non-Qatari residents. Also, donors and recipients receive healthcare coverage for life in Qatar at all of HMC’s JCI accredited facilities.
Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani, Director of the Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation and HGH Medical Director, said the long-term transformation of clinical services and the focus on quality and safety at HMC meant organ transplant procedures like Lilas’s were now becoming common place.
“Lilas’s story isn’t unique – more patients are benefitting from the tremendous advancements in the delivery of care by teams such as those at the Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation,” Dr. Al Maslamani said.
“We simply wouldn’t have been able to make these advances unless we had a real and consistent focus on quality, safety and research – a commitment that was celebrated by the JCI this week.”
Dr. Riadh Al Fadhil, Director of the Qatar Organ Donation Center (Hiba) said live donations from family members are encouraged as they provide a better match.
“International statistics have shown that living kidney donors go on to live healthier and longer lives with regular follow-up care,” Dr. Al Fadhil said.
“This story of Lilas and Inaam is a wonderful example of how a family member can help a loved one with kidney failure, the best match for living donations is from a family member. Inaam didn’t hesitate to help her daughter and now they are both happy and healthy and now blessed with another child,” he said.