A 15-year-old boy from Ahmednagar, who had a fatal heart condition, underwent a life-saving heart transplant in Mumbai on Sunday, after a cadaver heart was flown in from Surat, Gujarat. This was the sixth paediatric transplant in the city since the facility started in August 2015, said Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee officials.
The donor, Kissan Gajera, 19, was declared brain dead at Ayush ICU and Multi-specialty Hospital, Surat. “He won the first round of an inter-college boxing competition on September 8 and collapsed soon after he came out of the rink,” said Nilesh Mandlewala, president of NGO Donate Life, who counselled the family about organ donation. He had brain haemorrhage, said Mandlewala.
Along with the heart, the family also consented to donate his liver, pancreas, kidneys and corneas, saving the lives of many end-stage organ-failure patients.
“The boy had a heart condition called restricted cardiomyopathy and was wait-listed for the past six months. There was swelling in his abdomen and his lungs were filled with water. He could hardly walk,” said Dr Vijay Agarwal, chief of paediatric cardiac surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
Although the teen had been living with a relative in Thane, he had gone to his village for a couple of days to celebrate Ganeshotsav. “We got a match a few days later. Finding a match for young paediatric heart patients is tougher as compared to adult patients. There are not many families who donate paediatric organs as parents of children who are brain dead are very emotional,” said Dr Agrawal.
How the heart reached Mumbai
8.50 am: Heart is retrieved from the 19-year-old brain dead donor and preserved in a solution at Ayush ICU and Multi-specialty Hospital, Surat. It is then taken to the airport in an ambulance
9.09 am: Heart reaches Surat airport and is dispatched in a helicopter with a team of doctors
10.12 am: The chopper lands in Mumbai. The preserved heart taken in an ambulance to Fortis Hospital, Mulund, where the 15-year-old heart transplant recipient was admitted.
Making way: What is a green corridor?
A green corridor is the clearing of a stretch of road to give way to an ambulance
Heart transplants need to be done within four hours of harvesting, making it vital for timely transportation of the organ from donor to recipient
It is a non-stop thoroughfare, where the ambulance carrying the organ is led by traffic police vehicles that clear the way. An advance alert is also issued