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Man dies during dahi handi, his heart saves 22-year-old Mumbai woman

Doctors said that this was probably the first time when a human organ for transplant was flown in a commercial flight.

mumbai Updated: Aug 21, 2017 11:22 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,organ transplant,heart transplant
The heart in transit to the Mumbai hospital.(HT Photo)

The heart of a Dahanu resident, who died in a mishap during Dahi Handi festivities, was transported from Surat through a commercial flight since a chartered aircraft couldn’t be arranged due to heavy rains in Mumbai on Sunday morning.

Doctors said that this was probably the first time when a human organ for transplant was flown in a commercial flight.

The deceased’s family donated his organs, helping a 22-year-old woman with end-stage heart disease.

Vilas Ghatal, 30, son of a farmer from Dahanu, had participated in Janmashtami festivities near a small village of Valsad, Gujarat on August 15. After playing Dahi handi, Ghatla climbed a tree to untie the rope strung up for the competition, but slipped.

“He suffered a head injury and was rushed to a local hospital. After his condition worsened, he was taken to a medical college in Valsad, where doctors diagnosed him with brain haemorrhage,” said Nilesh Mandlewala, president of Donate life, an NGO which approached the family for organ donation.

As Ghatla’s family agreed to donate his organs, he was then shifted to Surat Civil Hospital (SCH) for doctors to retrieve his heart. In the meantime, SCH officials contacted the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (ROTTO) Maharashtra to identify a recipient, who was located at Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

The team of transplant surgeons from Mumbai, led by Dr Anvay Mule, reached Surat to retrieve the heart on Sunday at 7am. “A major issue was that due to rains, availability of a chartered air ambulance couldn’t be confirmed. Fortunately, there was a Surat to Mumbai flight, scheduled at 7.15am,” said a ROTTO official.

The heart took 86 minutes from Surat to Mumbai and a Green Corridor - a road cleared of traffic - was created between Mumbai airport and the Mulund hospital.

The hospital also conducted another in-house heart transplant on Sunday, where a 13-year-old patient got a new lease of life through a donation from a 47-year-old woman who was declared brain-dead by doctors. “The teenager was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and desperately needed a donor. We are thankful to the family of donors who was declared brain-dead due to intra-cerebral bleed and agreed to donate her heart, liver and kidney,” said the hospital representative.

With the two heart transplantations on Sunday, Mumbai has achieved the feat of performing four such lifesaving surgeries within 48 hours

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 09:21 IST