EXCLUSIVE: The family were forced to fly their dad 1,700 miles to Turkey for a liver transplant after UK doctors said he was too unwell to have the surgery here

Zahid Anwar, 61, had begun suffering problems last year and was diagnosed in February with the hepatitis B virus.

By April he was so ill that doctors began to consider a transplant. But his condition worsened in June.

Son Hamza said: “We were told he was not fit for transplant. By July they said he had little time left. Then he went into a coma and they were talking just a week.”

Hamza, 32, and wife Zubera, 30, had already begun a search to get his dad a transplant with him as his donor. He said: “We looked at places like India and China. Then we contacted the hospital in Istanbul.

“They wanted to see his records and treatments. They came back and told us Dad didn’t have much time. It was a small window of opportunity, we very nearly didn’t get him out in time.”

Clothes shop owner Zahid, of Lytham St Annes, Lancs, was in the coma for six days. When he came out of it, Hamza says doctors at Blackpool Victoria Hospital said he was too ill to leave.

So on August 11 Zahid discharged himself and was taken by private ambulance to Manchester Airport, where a private jet with a doctor and nurse on board was waiting to fly him to Turkey.

Three days later father and son were going under the knife at Florence Nightingale Hospital in Istanbul. Hamza said: “In the UK they try to find a deceased donor first but in Turkey nearly every transplant is from a living donor.

“Families are larger and more close-knit. I’d do anything for Dad – I was his only lifeline. We rushed through the tests and hardly had time to pause before we were in surgery.”

In parallel 12-hour ops on August 14, Hamza gave his father 70 per cent of his liver, which will grow back to normal size. He said: “Dad’s liver had been almost destroyed so they took a bit more than normal.”

The flight to Istanbul cost £22,000, and surgery £60,000. It is feared the total will top £100,000. From hospital in Turkey, Zahid, who also has a daughter, Annum, 28, said: “I’m grateful for my family refusing to give up on me. I’d have been a dead man if I stayed any longer. They were brave to resist.”

Estate agent Hamza added: “We think the NHS is great, and the nurses and a lot of the doctors who cared for dad were wonderful. But we feel something went wrong with the management of his care.”

A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS trust said individual cases could not be discussed.

Dr Phil Wood, chief medical officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “Our specialist team follows nationally-set criteria to determine which patients may be eligible.”


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To the management of Group Florence Nightingale,

We, the Bahraini liver transplant patients, express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to the management of GROUP FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE and its medical staff, headed by the team leader PROF.N.YILDIRAY YÜZER, for all the care, attention and high level of care and successful treatment they provided to Bahraini patients, which demonstrates the hospital management’s interest in the improvement of the medical services for the good of all people.

On behalf of liver patients in Bahrain,

M. A. Nabi AlSaikh
Friends of Liver Patients Society Bahrain

By clicking the Contact Us button, you can easily get medical second opinion and ask your questions (medical procedures, quotation, assistance services etc.). Your queries will be responded within 48 hours at most.

Baby Ensar who was said to “live not more than an hour after birth”, held on to life again with invasive cardiologic intervention.

Life is full of miracles… The doctors were hopeless… They said “He won’t live, not even for an hour” to the mother about her baby in her womb. However, his mother didn’t lose faith and gave birth. Muhammed Ensar Çıtır was one oftens of babies that were born with tis severe heart disorder… The baby born in Malatya was missing the right side of his heart. After birth, the baby remaind in an incubator for 12 days and day after day, the vessel that needs to be open for him to survive was narrowed. Muhammed was immediately brought to Florence Nightingale Hospital and taken to cardiac catheterization by . Prof. Yalçın Yalım, M.D. and his team. This vessel called ‘PDA’ was successfully dilated with a atent implantaion. Prof. Yalçın Yalım, M.D. informed, “The treatment plan has two phases. When Muhammed is 2,5-3 years old, he will have another surgery.” Muhammed held on to life again with the right intervention.

Doctors said that the Imanov couple’s baby Renat who was born with half a heart, had ‘no chance of survival’.

Doctors said that theImanov couple’s baby Renat who was born with half a heart, had ‘no chance of survival’. Moreover, the baby’s problems did not end there. The pulmonary artery hadn’t been formed. Arteries from the lung to the heart had complications and blockages. There was a defect in the heart valve too. And that’s when the Imanov’s voyage of hope begun. They have gone through many hospitals, consulted doctors. Just when they were losing hope, they have contacted a foundation that helps sick children.Thus Renat came to Istanbul Florence Nightingale Hospital. When the baby was brought to the hospital, She had some severe cyanosis and was breathing with diffivulty.

8-Hour Fight For Life

Heart Surgeon Bülent Polat, M.D. and his team have responded to baby Renat whose heart had stopped beating the day he arrived at the hospital. The baby has gotten a grip on life after an 8-hour long successful operation. Surgeon Bülent Polat, M.D. has then given the good news to the family. Then a week later… Baby Renat considered to have “No chance of survival” has been discharged with a smile on his face.

How Did The Treatment Take Place

“When we took baby Renat to intensive care, he had intense coughing and advanced breathing difficulty His color had become a blackish purple. He couldn’t be fed, food was being administered via a tube inserted in his stomach. The lung infection was making matters even worse. On the first day, his heart stopped. We immediately attached him to a breathing machine and with an hour long effort, brought him back to life. Attached to the breathing machine, he was kept in sleep and treated for infection for 3 days. A soon as blood tests and other findings turned out to be favourable, we took him to open heart surgery. First we have corrected the problems and narrowings in the vessels arteries from the lungs to the heart. Using both the membrane of the heart and artificial artery; we have made a new artery going from the heart to the lung. We have repaired the cardiac valves. In this way we have established a totally normal circulatory system. After an 8-hour long surgery, we gave the family the good news. From now on blood oxygenation will be normal, baby’s difficulty in breathing and cyanosis will get better, he will grow up like a normal baby. After staying 3 days in intensive care, baby Renat was taken to his mother totally pink with no breathing problems; he was full of smiles. The mother was having difficulty in believing that she was seeing him this healthy. Her happiness and joy were worth seeing. After a week we saw them off as a normal baby to their countries.”

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