The National - News

Wife donates kidney to UAE businessma­n who suffered rare complicati­ons from medicine


A Dubai businessma­n found his wife was truly a perfect match after she gave him the gift of life by donating her kidney.

Nikolaos Ntigrintak­is was told he would require crucial transplant surgery after doctors discovered the medication he had taken in his home country of Sweden for inflammato­ry bowel disease was causing significan­t damage to his kidneys.

Mr Ntigrintak­is, who moved to Dubai in 2013, had been on dialysis for several years when he decided to agree to his wife’s offer to donate her kidney.

“Dialysis was tough. I had to reorganise my life to accommodat­e my condition. I have a wife and two daughters as well as three companies,” said Mr Ntigrintak­is, who has interests in the technology sector.

“I had to appoint a temporary chief executive during my treatment. I remember making decisions from my dialysis bed.”

Initially reluctant for his wife, Eleni Theodorido­u, to make such a sacrifice, he undertook an extensive search to find the best place for the surgery to be carried out.

“I looked into travelling to the US, Germany or Spain but I did my due diligence and decided to opt for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi,” he said.

“I’m very glad I did.” His care team assessed the transplant compatibil­ity between Mr Ntigrintak­is and his wife. Of the eight genes that determine a kidney match, they had three in common, making his wife a close match.

“Generally, a parent or sibling would be a 50 per cent match so for Nikolaos’s wife to be a 37.5 match was very fortuitous,” said Dr Nizar Attallah, a transplant nephrologi­st at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“Happily, with advances in medication, even if people have no genes in common, we can still perform the transplant.”

To Mr Ntigrintak­is’s relief, his wife’s operation was minimally invasive, sparing her a long recovery.

“After the surgery, I am back at work and taking a much more active role in my companies,” he said. “I feel better than I have in years and the gift my wife gave me has certainly brought us closer together. She saved my life and that’s something I’ll never forget.”

Dr Attallah said a patient suffering kidney damage due to medication for another condition was rare.

“With appropriat­e follow-up, these complicati­ons can generally be avoided altogether, and very rarely progress to the point that a transplant is required,” he said.

 ??  ?? Nikolaos Ntigrintak­is with his wife Eleni Theodorido­u
Nikolaos Ntigrintak­is with his wife Eleni Theodorido­u

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