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Fayaz A. Shawl

The NRI medic is funding a heart facility of international standards in J&K.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2003 15:20 IST

A US-based heart specialist who was born in Kashmir plans to set up a hospital in the valley.

Speaking at the Sher-e-Kashmir convention complex on the banks of the Dal lake here Wednesday, Fayaz A. Shawl said he would fund the heart facility of international standards himself.

Talking on the complexities of the heart, he told the packed audience that like all efficient pumps, the human heart too needs a nuts and bolts job once in a while.

Shawl, director of international cardiology in Washington's Adventist Hospital and professor of cardiology at George Washington University, has done pioneering work in interventional cardiology.

"Kashmiris need a better deal for their hearts. I have been offered tempting amounts to set up such heart institutes in the Gulf, but I have decided to invest my own money and set up a heart facility of international stature in Kashmir," Shawl told IANS.

"I owe this to the land that gave me birth," he added.

Shawl performed the world's first percutaneous bypass supported coronary intervention in 1988. He has also led the development of a percutaneous approach to cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, known as the `Shawl technique'.

A former colleague commented, "He is one of the most sought after heart surgeons in the U.S., giving hope to patients who otherwise believed it was the end of the road for them."

Shawl was also the first interventional cardiologist to use both the Eclipse Holmium Laser and the Angio-Trax mechanical device in 1999 for treating patients.

He now plans to spend 20 per cent of his time in philanthropic endeavours, helping to set up interventional cardiology programmes around the world, starting with Kashmir.

Recommending that one drink 14 glasses of water a day to remain healthy, he said, "Your body is just like a Mercedes Benz. It needs regular servicing and cleaning to keep it fit."

Shawl was dismayed, however, that his daily trek of five miles had to be interrupted during his stay here due to security reasons.

"This is bad news for the security of my heart," he said.

First Published: Nov 10, 2003 00:00 IST