Mumbai's youngest heart transplant patient, Sweden D'Souza, discharged

Two weeks after being hailed as the youngest heart transplant patient of the city, Sweden D'Souza was discharged from Fortis Hospital, Mulund on Tuesday evening.

Pic/Sameer Markande
Sweden D'Souza. Pic/Sameer Markande

Talking to mid-day, Anthony D'Souza, father of 16-year-old Sweden, who underwent the surgery on January 3, said that while the family is ecstatic that their daughter is coming home, they have planned a very sober welcome. “We have refurbished her room on doctors’ advice and have added all the necessary things according to her health standards. She’s supposed to live in a highly sanitised and infection free environment and we are taking care of that,” said Anthony.

The teenager was suffering from Dilated Cardiomyopathy. While the donor heart was retrieved from Choitaram Hospital of Madhya Pradesh, the transplant was not only the first interstate heart transplant between the two states, but the first ever heart transplant procedure for MP as a donor. The donor heart was flown to Fortis Hospital in Mumbai in less than 2 hours, covering a staggering distance of 546 kilometres.

A chirpy Sweden, while leaving the hospital said, “I’m indebted to Dr Vijay Agarwal and Dr Anvay Mulay, who gave me a new lease of life. I'm very excited to go home."

Agarwal confirmed that Sweden is stable after what is noted as one of the most critical surgeries. Now, they are on the lookout for the next donor to save the life of the only paediatric patient left on the ZTCC list, who is under their care.

“It is increasingly difficult to find a paediatric donor due to the requirement restrictions of weight and matching blood group. Secondly, people’s sentiments while donating cadavers of young brain dead patients are different than that of the older patients. At the same time, we need as many patients possible to register with ZTCC so that every time a donor approaches us, we can go ahead with the transplant,” said Agarwal.

On the other hand, for D'Souza family, it would be important to ensure avoiding infections for Sweden’s progressive recovery towards routine life. The family confirmed it will take time for Sweden to get back to education, and that they will wait for her recovery and then enroll her in the college again.

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