For the first time in the country’s history, kidneys from a deceased person have been transferred to two patients.

The surgeries were conducted successfully at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and Kidney Foundation between 10:00pm and 4:00am on Wednesday night.

A 20-year-girl, Sarah Islam, who was suffering from various health complications, including brain tumour, donated her kidneys and cornea before her death. The first kidney transplant was carried out at BSMMU, led by the university’s renal transplant department head Professor Habibur Rahman.

Quoting her mother, the physician told Prothom Alo on Thursday morning that Sarah, a resident of Dhaka, donated all of her organs before she breathed her last. However, only the kidney and cornea were removed from her body.

"She should receive heroic honour. Her donation will inspire people to donate their kidneys after their demise," Habibur added.     

It is learnt that Sarah was admitted to BSMMU three days ago. She was declared brain dead on Wednesday evening.

Then the physicians conducted different tests to match her kidneys with several patients who were suffering from kidney disease. Of them, the kidneys of two women, aged 34 and 37 respectively, matched 25 to 30 per cent those of hers. It would not be possible for their kidneys to have a closer match since they were not her relatives.   

15 other physicians, including BSMMU’s urology department professor Towhid Md Saiful Hossain, associate professor Faruk Hossain and Kartik Chandra Ghose, were on the surgery team.   

They said the procedure of removing the kidney from the donor started around 10:00pm on Wednesday, which took one and half hours. Then 30 minutes are required to make the kidney transplantable, followed by a two-hour final surgery where the kidney is placed in the recipient’s body.

Another kidney was transplanted to the 37-year-old woman at the Kidney Foundation Bangladesh. The surgery was led by Professor AKM Khurshidul Alam.