In January, surgeons performed the cadaveric kidney transplantation procedure for the second time in Bangladesh, transferring the organs from a clinically dead person to two patients.
The results have been mixed.
One of the kidney recipients is on the path to recovery and is set to be discharged from hospital imminently. The other, however, died 10 days after the surgery.
The process started after the death of Md Masum, a 38-year-old resident of Dhaka's Kamrangirchar, during treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on Jan 25.
Later that day, his kidneys were transplanted into two patients at BSMMU and the Kidney Foundation Hospital.
Tahmina Yasmin Poppy, 46, from Dhaka's Mohammadpur, received her transplant at BSMMU and is now reported to be in good health.
The operation was led by renal transplant surgeon Dr Habibur Rahman Dulal. "She [Poppy] is recovering well. Her creatinine levels are stable and her urine output is good too. We plan to discharge her soon," he said.
Poppy's mother, Khursida Parveen, shed light on her daughter's ordeal after she was diagnosed with kidney ailments in 2020. She was regularly on dialysis but after around eight months, doctors said both her kidneys had failed.
"Doctors recommended a kidney transplant, but everyone in our family had diabetes, making them ineligible to donate a kidney."
While Poppy was receiving care at BSMMU, doctors informed the family about the possibility of a kidney donation from a clinically dead individual.
"They advised us to stay in contact with the hospital and registered my daughter's name. On the morning of Jan 25, we received a call from BSMMU. They urged us to come as soon as possible.
"The doctors said that there was a donor available and asked if we were willing to proceed with the transplant. We trusted their judgment. The surgery was later performed at 9 pm that night."
She continued: "I am endlessly grateful to the family who donated the kidney for my daughter. Words cannot capture my gratitude. This practice of organ donation is not widely established in our country, but it's important that it becomes so. The passing of one life can breathe life into another through organ donation, and that's significant."
The second recipient was a 44-year-old man treated at the Kidney Foundation Hospital. However, doctors did not disclose his identity.
The patient had been suffering from kidney ailments for the last seven years, and regularly underwent dialysis at the hospital.
However, he did not survive the transplant, passing away on Feb 4.
Despite being deemed a strong candidate for the transplant, undisclosed health issues like a history of asthma contributed to his deteriorating condition and eventual death, said Professor Dr Harun Ur Rashid, president of the Kidney Foundation.
The first cadaveric kidney transplant in Bangladesh was conducted in January 2023 at BSMMU, where kidneys from 20-year-old Sarah Islam, declared brain-dead, were transplanted into two women.
While one recipient, Shamima Akter, survived and remains healthy, the other passed away, mirroring the mixed outcomes of this year's transplants.