Kidney swap in Ankara unites Turkish, Iraqi families

Kidney swap in Ankara unites Turkish, Iraqi families

Kidney swap in Ankara unites Turkish, Iraqi families

An Iraqi and a Turkish citizen welcomed their new lives in the Turkish capital Ankara after a cross-kidney transplant surgery.

Ayşe Şiho, who fled to Turkey from Mosul after ISIL’s attacks in Iraq, was a dialysis patient suffering from renal failure in search of a suitable kidney.

The 28-year-old woman -mother of two- has been trying to hold on to their new life in the Keçiören district of Ankara, but her health problems followed her.

Şiho has been receiving dialysis treatment for the past year. Her aunt wanted to give her kidney to Şiho, but the blood incompatibility prevented them to do so.

The Iraqi family got lucky when 21-year-old Haydar Artuç, who has been receiving the same treatment for the past 10 years, and his family were introduced to the Şiho family.

Introduced at the Ankara Institute of Medical Sciences, Haydar Artuç’s father Cemal agreed to give his kidney to Ayşe Şiho. Likewise, Şiho’s mother agreed to give her kidney to Haydar.

After the successful cross-kidney operation, Dr. Erkan Ölçücüoğlu, the hospital’s supervisor for the Kidney Transplant Department, told state-run Anadolu Agency that both families were willing to give their kidneys to their own family members, but their blood types did not match.

“We introduced them to each other and persuaded them to give us the green light on the surgery,” Ölçücüoğlu said.

“Their children will recover from this illness and will be happy. If they are happy, then we are,” he added.

Şiho, also sharing her thoughts, said she and Artuc were saved as two young patients.

“Haydar’s father and my mother wanted to go through this surgery for us, so we could be saved,” she said.

The two families burst with emotion as they saw their children for the first time after the surgery.

“I have now a daughter named Ayşe. I would like to thank our doctors for giving us this chance,” father Cemal Artuç said.