Till Death Do Us Part

The title phrase above is commonly used when wedding vows are taken between two willing souls in matrimony and normally not in a literal sense, but these words have been
09 Apr 2017 11:00
Till Death Do Us Part
From left: Chanel Watta, Dr. Amrish Krishnan and Ajay Bhai Amrit together at a medical meeting.

The title phrase above is commonly used when wedding vows are taken between two willing souls in matrimony and normally not in a literal sense, but these words have been taken literally between one couple who recently proved their unwavering commitment to each other.

This was done more than four years ago when Chanel Watta was diagnosed with End State Chronic Kidney disease in May, 2012.

Both her kidneys were functioning at 15 per cent at the time. This was discovered after a random medical check.

Dr Amrish Krishnan, an upcoming Nephrologist at the time broke the news gently to Chanel and her husband, John Watta, that both kidneys were failing.

He gave the option of taking up dialysis as a temporary fix while they considered a kidney transplant.

With this devastating news the couple also went to see David Voss, a Nephrologist in Auckland, New Zealand.

Just a month after the check-up the couple met Dr Voss in Auckland who shared the same diagnosis as Dr Krishnan that Chanel’s kidneys were failing and that she needed to consider dialysis and eventually a kidney transplant. This was crushing news for her as she felt fine and in good health.

Just six months after her diagnosis in November 2012, Chanel’s condition deteriorated with increasing weakness, tiredness and vomiting and was admitted more often at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

In January 2013, Chanel’s younger brother, Ryan Autar, volunteered to be a donor for the kidney transplant which was great news.

He was medically checked and tests done, but unfortunately Ryan didn’t qualify for a possible donor.

In February 2013, just after Valentine’s Day Chanel’s husband John advised Dr Malani, who was also looking after her, that he wanted to be tested and see if he could be a possible kidney donor.

The preferred donor was either one of Chanel’s four siblings, however, Dr Malani considered his request and went ahead with the tests.

A week later they received a phone call advising that John was a perfect match. This was by far the best news that Chanel and John had received in a very long time!

Following the test results, their doctor advised that John needed to lower his cholesterol, which was slightly high.

Once again her dedicated husband ate raw garlic three times a day which reduced his cholesterol within a week!

Their journey for a new lease of life began that day. After all the workup and documentation and help of Deepak Singh of Medican Services they were bound for India on May 26, 2013.

They arrived at Fortis Hospital in Noida, Delhi, on May 27 for further tests. The last phase prior to the transplant operation was an audience with the ethical committee. At the interview John was asked why was he willing to donate his kidney.

His response to the ethical committee was “Chanel is the mother of my children and my wife. She deserves a new lease of life and I’m happy to be the one to give her that by being the donor”.

The ethical committee endorsed their request and on June 11, 2013 the procedure took place.

Today, both patients are doing fine. Chanel will always be grateful to John for his sacrifice.

This allowed her to live life again, with him and their three beautiful children, Michael (19), Tessa (14) and Tamarah (12).

They celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary this year and Chanel will not want a gift as John has already given her that …four years ago!

Currently both John and Chanel are actively involved in “Kidney Health Pacific” with Dr Krishnan to raise awareness about this disease.

Finally remember prevention is better than cure so look after your well-being and as the saying goes “Health is Wealth”.

 Edited by Naisa Koroi

The writer is a Fiji Sun  columnist.




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