Nine-year-old girl receives 'historic' kidney transplant in Dubai

Bana Nizar Hassan, from Sudan, to "start life anew" following five-hour operation

Bana Nizar Hassan, centre, alongside Farhad Janahi, left, and David Hickey, right, the surgeons who led the successful operation. Government of Dubai Media Office
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A nine-year-old girl has become the first child ever to receive a kidney transplant in Dubai, in a landmark moment for paediatric healthcare in the emirate.

Bana Nizar Hassan, from Sudan, received the kidney from a deceased donor in Abu Dhabi. The organ was taken to Dubai and surgery performed within a recommended 12-hour window. Teams in both emirates worked together to ensure the operation took place ahead of the deadline.

While kidney transplants on children have been performed before in Abu Dhabi, it was a first for Dubai. The procedure was carried out at Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital.

Bana was born with just one kidney, a condition called renal agenesis. Authorities said that thanks to the pre-emptive kidney transplant in a successful five-hour surgery, she would be able to get on with her life.

Her father, Nizar Hassan Yousif, said he felt the family could now begin a new life together. Bana had required hospital treatment and was facing the possibility of dialysis.


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“What we feel now is beyond words,” said Mr Yousif.

“It is also extremely overwhelming for us to see so many people from different entities across UAE come together to treat my baby; thank you is not enough for them.

“Bana’s first smile after the operation was the most precious moment in my life, and I would like to dedicate her first smile to our gracious donor and his family, God bless them all.”

The team of surgeons was led by David Hickey, Professor of Surgery and Farhad Janahi, Assistant Professor of Surgery.

“We have just witnessed a defining moment in the history of Dubai’s paediatric healthcare system and Al Jalila Children’s is proud to have become a contributor to that history,” said Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s Hospital.

“Apart from this being an incredible medical achievement, what we’ve seen is exemplary co-operation between ten different entities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that came together in virtually no time to make this surgery possible.

“While we celebrate this milestone, we must not forget the kindness and generosity of the donor that made it possible for Bana to start life anew.”