Over three decades ago, in August of 1982, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan met with a near-fatal accident while shooting for "Coolie", a movie that later went on to become a super-hit.
The actor, who was then filming in Bangalore University campus, suffered from intestinal injuries and had to undergo an emergency splenectomy.
It was during this period that he contracted the Hepatitis B virus while undergoing treatment and has since lost 75% of his liver due to cirrhosis.
On Monday, Bachchan spoke of his condition at the launch of a Hepatitis B campaign by the Health Ministry in association with UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) in Mumbai.
The Indian Express quoted the star as saying, "Hepatitis B came to me accidentally. After my accident on the sets of Coolie, I was infused with the blood of about 200 donors and 60 bottles of blood were injected into my system. The Australian antigen Hepatitis B had only been detected three months ago and it was very new for being detected also among various tests needed to be carried out before giving blood to another patient.
One of my blood donors was carrying Hepatitis B virus, which went into my system. I continued to function normally till year 2000 and almost 18 years after the accident, during a very normal medical checkup, I was told that my liver was infected and I had lost 75 percent of my liver. So, if I am standing here today, you are looking at a person who is surviving with 25 percent of the liver. That is the bad part. The good part is you can survive even with 12%. But no one wants to get to that stage."
Amitabh Bachchan had earlier written in detail in his blog about how he got the infection and when it was discovered that 25% of his liver had been destroyed. Read it here.
It is possible for the liver to function with up to 80% deterioration. "So resilient is the liver that it only finally fails when about 80-90% of the liver is seriously damaged," a piece in the HCV New Drug Research website states.
FB 1158 - My campaign film 1 .. launched today as its Ambassador .. I am a Hep B sufferer ..Posted by Amitabh Bachchan on Monday, November 23, 2015
FB 1158 - My campaign film on Hepatitis B .. launched it today as its Ambassador ..Posted by Amitabh Bachchan on Monday, November 23, 2015