After one month of grueling paperwork, multiple hospital matching tests, accommodation, visa extensions, the renal transplant surgery of my very first client was finally successful.
As I watched my client being shifted to the sterilized recovery room. His relatives wouldn’t be able to visit him for the next seven days and the only way of communication was through the phone.
“Yes, we did it …finally” my partner jumped with her hands up in the air.
“Yeah” I fisted the air.
My partner, Sarah unexpectedly jumped to hug me.
Sarah was a 28-year-old, green eyed Egyptian girl who had two kids and was into her sixth year of marriage. She was on the hefty side but like all Egyptian ladies she was just beautiful. I loved working with her.
It had just been one month since we worked together.
Coming to our business, we put it under the medical tourism services.
Our business is headquartered in Delhi and served the Indian patients but the work took place in Sri lanka and Egypt.
Egypt being our new base.
We offered the patient the medical services they required which wasn’t available in India or wasn’t legal in our country. We handled renal transplants, lung transplants and bone marrow transplants mostly. And it was a very lucrative business. We were the only company offering such a service.
A few leading surgeons and physicians knew about us, so they were the ones who gave us the patients.
The business model was simple, just like any other healthcare model. Expensive, but still not sure of the outcome.
So only who could afford came to us.
The founder of the company, Ambrish operated from Delhi and I handled from Cairo.
I was 30 percent partner in the cases I handled. Sarah just got a salary for her services.
Ambrish charged heavy price for the service, he almost had a fifty percent profit. Initially I had discussed the issue of decreasing our price and offer the service to wider economic strata. But he didn’t want to bulge on the margin.
The money was good but I didn’t like the way it was run. My last and it required a lot of illegal doings, I had to bribe the visa officers, the ministry of health in Egypt and we manipulated a lot of documentation. But in the end it saved a life.
So I decided to continue with the next patient.
This was a complicated one. The patient was a70 year old male, he was diabetic and gangrene had set in on his right foot.
The donor was an Indian, 35-year-old. He was in huge financial debt, so he decided to give away his kidney.
I knew the hospital, the doctors, the visa officers in Cairo, the only thing Ambrish provided was the donor and the patient. I knew I could run the business by himself if I had some contacts back in India.
With this patient, everything matched in India but in Egypt the doctors declared the match unfit.
So the operation couldn’t take place.
I had called Ambrish a day before informing him about this issue.
The next day I got a call “I have arranged for another donor, he will be in Cairo day after. It is a match in India and it won’t be an issue in Egypt also. So please continue the prices and get it over with”
“But how did you find a donor so fast”
“I always have a backup donor. Don’t worry about it. Get this done with”
Ok. I checked about the donor in my mail.
He was just a 22-year-old male, from a small town in Haryana.
And that was when it struck me. Maybe it wasn’t worth saving one life in the end.
A 22-year-old who has his whole future ahead of me, giving his kidney to an old man who probably will survive only for ten years even after the donation. It just didn’t equate for me. Life was unfair and we were very much a part of the the process.
So I decided it would be my last case.