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Kerala man has a fresh shot at life after second heart transplant

world Updated: Apr 15, 2014 21:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
heart transplant

In a feat considered rare in medical field, an IT professional from Kerala successfully underwent a second heart transplant in a span of nine months.

Thirty-nine-year-old Girish Kumar, a native of Palakkad, was transplanted with the heart of a brain-dead patient on March 6 at a private hospital in Kochi. After recovery, he is ready to leave for home.

The fresh surgery, which lasted 12 hours, was necessitated by an infection in the valve of the heart transplanted into his body eight months ago. He had suffered two cardiac arrests because of the infection.

Doctors who performed the surgery said it "was a miracle" and Kumar would be able to lead a normal life after six months.

"It was a tough task. We were not sure about his second transplant. Getting a donor with right match, and his age, all just fell in place at the right time," said Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram, a cardio-thoracic surgeon at the Lisie Hospital.

The success of a heart transplant is gauged one-month after the operation. The first transplant was accomplished in June, 2013.

After the second attack, the Kerala Network for Organ Sharing, an NGO, issued fervent appeals for organ donation. Soon, a doctors' team harvested a heart from the brain-dead patient at another hospital.

Girish, an employee with Wipro, was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently.

"A gutsy man Girish was sure he would bounce back to life with his third heart. That helped our task well. Luckily everything turned out well," said another doctor.