Even as the city continues to rejoice over its first successful heart transplant carried out on Monday, yet another patient’s life was saved yesterday after he received a donor heart in a successful surgery at Fortis Hospital, Mulund — the same hospital that had pulled off the first transplant four days earlier.
Dr Anvay Mulay, Dr S Narayani and Dr Sanjeev Jadhav speak to the press about heart transplants having become a reality for Mumbai. PIC/Sharad Vegda
The 29-year-old Kalamboli resident was the third and last patient on the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee’s (ZTCC) waiting list for donor hearts. Although he had been on the list since July 7, it was only after his condition got critical that he qualified for the transplant.
The donor, KNK Nair, a 63-year-old scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, had also pledged his eyes, while his family agreed to donate his heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and liver.
The patient was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, after which he went through heart failure on Thursday night. The same night, doctors found a donor at MGM Hospital, Vashi, where KNK Nair, a 63-year-old scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) was declared brain dead after a bike accident. The scientist’s family was informed about his condition around 10.30 pm, and didn’t think twice before agreeing to the heart donation.
“His wife, who also works along with him in BARC, and his brother took the decision to donate his organs. He had already pledged his eyes earlier, and his wife and brother informed the hospital they would also like to donate his heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas. He always stressed on organ donation and wanted to be of use even after his death,” said Nair’s cousin.
Fortis Hospital then sent its team of doctors to check if the heart was compatible for transplant. The team was led by Dr Dr Sandeep Jadhav, who was instrumental in retrieving the heart even during the first donation. He left from Pune around 1 am, but got stuck on the way due to the rainfall and landslide on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. He finally arrived in Vashi at 6 am last morning.
“Though the donor was 63-year-old, when we checked the heart, it was as fit as a 30 to 35-year-old’s heart. Our 29-year-old patient was in immediate need of the heart. When we saw that the blood group had matched and the heart could support the patient’s body, we decided to go ahead with the operation,” said Jadhav.
Just like the last time, medical experts and transport authorities joined hands to set up a green corridor for unobstructed movement of the heart from MGM Hospital, Vashi, to Fotis in Mulund by the Thane-Belapur road via Airoli. The 19-km distance was covered in a record 14 minutes.
And so, at 10.45 am, merely four days after 22-year-old Anwar Khan underwent Mumbai’s first heart transplant, the 29-year-old from Kalamboli underwent the second. The surgery was completed with four and a half hours, and doctors report that the patient is stable and doing well.
Dr Anvay Mulay, chief of cardiac surgery at Fortis Hospital, said, “We have concluded the surgery; the patient will be under continuous observation for the next 24-48hrs. At the same time, Anwar is also stable and off the ventilator. Heart transplant has become an option to be considered by both patients and doctors; it is not longer something that is only possible in foreign countries. This way, more lives will be saved.”