A 58-year-old Kandivli resident received a heart donation on Saturday morning from Gujarat in the first ever inter-state heart transplant arrangement.
The heart, which was flown in on a special flight, took just 92 minutes to reach Mulund’s Fortis Hospital from Mahavir Hospital in Surat. The donor is Jagdish Devji Patel, 45, who was declared brain dead following a road traffic accident. His family agreed to donate the heart, giving a new lease of life to a Mumbai resident, who had been waiting for three months for a transplant.
Doctors at Fortis Hospital said the Kandivli resident had dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscles are too weak to pump blood, and the only way the defect could be corrected was through a heart transplant.
The recipient, though not hospitalised, was not faring well on health parameters and needed the transplant urgently. “Any further delay in receiving the heart would have damaged his health further,” said a social worker from the hospital.
This is the fifth heart transplant in Mumbai, all of which have taken place at Fortis Hospital, since August 2014. Of the four previous recipients, three have survived.
The two hospitals and traffic police in Surat and Mumbai created a green corridor for the safe passage of the heart from Mahavir Hospital to Surat airport and from Mumbai airport to Mulund.
A team of doctors, including transplant surgeon Dr Anvay Mulay and Dr Sanjeev Jadhav, accompanied the cadaver heart on a private flight to Mumbai.
While the heart was being transported from Surat, surgeons at Fortis Hospital prepared the recipient for the surgery.
“The recipient is doing well, but the next 72 hours remain critical. We have completed five heart transplants, which illustrates our resolve for the programme,” said Dr S Narayani, zonal director, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
The inter-state heart transplant operation was planned a few months ago when Donate Life, a non-profit in Gujarat, was requested by Fortis Hospital, Mulund to find cadaver heart donations.
The non-profit then convinced families donating other cadaver organs such as liver and kidney to donate the heart.
“The donor was a religious man. The family had initially agreed to donate his kidney and liver only, but when he informed them the possibility of donating the heart, they readily agreed,” said Nilesh Mandlewala, president of Donate Life. The donor is survived by his wife and children aged 14 and 21 years. The donor’s wife, who was riding pillion, had sustained injuries and was discharged on Friday.