Agile Global Health Blog

Kidney transplant offers nun life anew: Sister Kankindi‘s Story

Jun 15, 2016 / A&K Global Health

Sister Marie Beatrice Kankindi, a nun in the congregation of Benebikira in Rwanda, first began experiencing weakness in August 2014. On October 11th, having felt run down for two months, she was admitted to King Faisal Hospital in Kigali. Clinical investigations determined that her persistent fatigue was the result of kidney failure. “My kidneys were no longer working and [the] only solution was transplant. I needed a kidney donor…it was not easy for me,” Sister Kankindi recalls.

A fellow sister in the Benebikira order was willing to donate a healthy kidney. Once doctors in Kigali confirmed that she was an appropriate donor match for Sister Kankindi, they sought a hospital capable of performing the complex nephrectomy and transplant surgeries. This was a lengthy process. Finally, in February 2015, they met and engaged Gratien Twizeyimana, A&K Global Health’s Representative and Regional Manager for Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “My superiors were doing all the running around to help me,” Sister Kankindi recounts. “They met Mr. Gratien from A&K Global Health. He helped them with all the necessary documents and to locate the hospital for surgery.” Within the same month, Mr. Twizeyimana facilitated the transfer of Sister Kankindi’s complicated case – including all medical records for her and her donor, all necessary travel visas, and all required legal documentation specific to a transplant – to Artemis Health Institute in Gurgaon, India.

“What impressed me about A&K Global Health was that their people put all their heart in their work,” says Sister Kankindi. “While we were still in Rwanda, they were coordinating with us. They scheduled the hospital and the appointments with the doctor. They even booked a hotel for us. When we reached [the] Delhi airport, we found a person from A&K Global Health waiting for us. We received a warm welcome and were taken to the guesthouse…we found everything ready for us.”

Before the end of February 2015, Sister Kankindi and her donor began regular pre-surgery consults at Artemis Health Institute with Dr. Manju Aggarwal, Director and Head, Department of Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation. “A&K Global Health arranged for a car to take us from the guesthouse to Artemis Hospital every day. At the hospital she [Dr. Manju] started investigations and administering tests to [my donor and me.] [She] wanted to make sure we were ready for the operation.”

Thanks to such thorough and meticulous preoperative preparation, Sister Kankindi experienced a rapid and successful surgical process and a prompt, smooth transition to postoperative care. She spent just nine days in the hospital as an inpatient: “On the eighth day after the operation, I was able to walk and attend to my daily activities. I was discharged from the hospital.”

Sister Kankindi stayed in Dr. Manju’s watchful outpatient care for six additional weeks as she fully recuperated from the surgery. “I still [went] to the hospital regularly,” Sister Kankindi remembers, for evaluations to ensure that her body showed no sign of rejecting the new kidney. “The results were fine. [They] meant that the kidney was functioning well.”

“This was possible because of the efforts of A&K Global Health,” Sister Kankindi emphasizes. “I request [of] everyone watching this video, if you have a health problem, please get in touch with your doctor. They will help you. Even if you need to go abroad for treatment, A&K Global Health is there to help you. They will guide you.”

International medical travel is indeed a daunting prospect for many – but for patients with access to A&K Global Health, it need not be. While the advance clinical, legal and logistical arrangements required for live organ transplant are complex, our experience to date facilitating 231 bone marrow transplants, 109 kidney transplants and 15 liver transplants (in addition to 216 oncological procedures, 80 cardiology procedures, and 124 neurosurgeries) evidences our strong capability for managing such specialized procedures.

“I thank everyone who has continued in making my life better and made this surgery successful. God bless you all!”

You can hear Sister Kankindi share her full story in this short video:

A&K Global Health

A&K Global Health is a worldwide leader in realizing transparent, affordable, effective and innovative solutions to complex health challenges. We connect you with the right care for your needs, from coordinating international medical travel to facilitating quality local and regional treatment. We also optimize the impact of health institutions by introducing transparency, control and customization to the medical, financial and experiential aspects of your journeys. A&K Global Health is dedicated to empowering you to reach your highest health. Contact us today to learn how we can support you.


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