A heart's 90-min journey from Pune to Mulund

'Surgery a success'
Without the heart transplant, the 22-year-old was looking at barely two weeks of life, said Dr K R Balakrishnan, director of cardiac sciences at Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai, who was the transplant specialist flown to Mumbai for the path-breaking surgery yesterday.

Also read: It was like my own heart was brought to Mumbai, says surgeon

Heart transplant from Pune to Mumbai

“The recipient had been sick for the last few months and the right side of the heart had also failed. His overall parameters were poor due to congestion in his liver and in such a case, his survival chances were poor.

Luckily, we could get a donor in time. We have transplanted the heart for the recipient and it is pumping fine. We are hopeful that in the next few weeks, his liver congestion will come down,” he told mid-day.

He confirmed that the transplant was carried out successfully, and at 11 pm, the youth was wheeled out of the operation theatre to the ICU. “He is responding well to the treatment,” said Dr Balakrishnan.

The cost of such transplants usually goes over R25 lakh, including the air ambulance charges and surgical costs, he said, but added that the major problem was finding donor hearts.

“The problem today is that we have very limited cadaver donation in the country and across the world, while the number of patients with heart failure is going up gradually.”

- As told to Vinod Kumar Menon

Timeline of the heart transplant

Heart transplant co-ordinated by Vruda Pusalkar, an MSW contactee Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Committee (ZTCC).

July 29, 2015: Woman is brought to the Jehangir Hospital in Pune in an unconscious state. She is diagnosed with Intra-Cranial Aneurysm.

August 2, 6.30pm: Patient declared brain dead.

Around 10 pm: Fortis Hospital in Mulund makes demand for the heart.

August 3, 1.30am: Ambulance from Mumbai reaches Jehangir Hospital in Pune.

10am: Request to enable the 'Green Corridor' is received by Pune Traffic Police, the Airport Authority of India and the Mumbai Traffic Police.

10.20am: Green corridor created in both cities.

1 pm  Private chartered aircraft reaches Pune international airport

1.10pm: Woman taken into operation theatre.

2.30pm: The organ starts journey from Jehangir Hospital.

2.45pm: The heart reaches Pune Airport.

2.55pm: The plane carrying the heart takes off.

3.19pm Plane lands at Mumbai airport.

3.30pm 12 police vehicles escort ambulance carrying cadaver heart to Fortis hospital in Mulund. The convey leaves from VVIP gate number 8 of Mumbai airport.

Route: Santacruz Airport(Gate No. 8)-Military Road-Santacruz Chembur Link Road- Chedda Nagar- Eastern Express Highway-Airoli Junction- Fortis Hospital, Mulund

3.48pm The convoy carrying heart reaches Fortis hospital.

4.00pm Heart transplant operation starts. 

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