Noida resident Hari Singh seems to have his heart set on life. On Thursday, not only did he successfully undergo an angioplasty but, at 104 years of age, also became the oldest person in the world to do so.
Dr Purshottam Lal, chief cardiologist and chairman of Metro Hospital and Heart Institute who performed the emergency procedure on Thursday night, said: “Medical literature shows that the oldest person until now to have survived an angioplasty was 94 years old.” This makes Singh the new record holder.
Angioplasty is a procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed blood vessels. A stent may be inserted (as in Singh’s case) to ensure the vessel remains open.
Singh, born in 1909 in present-day Pakistan, was brought to the hospital on May 16 with chest pain and kidney dysfunction. Reports showed 90% blockage in one of the main arteries supplying blood to the heart and 100% blockage in two others.
“He could have died any moment, so it was imperative to implant the stent,” said Lal. “He has recovered well and is mentally alert.” The doctor added that Singh had his first stent implant when he was 92.
Singh’s disciplined lifestyle and regular use of an exercise bike have also helped him recover quickly. “I have no chest pain. Now I want to go home,” said the centenarian, his heart not skipping a beat.