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World Heart Day: Pune doctors keep the beat to maintain healthy lifestyle

With the number of transplants going up in the state, the rate of survival which was earlier around 60 to 65 per cent has gone up to almost 95 per cent, claimed experts in cardiology.

pune Updated: Sep 29, 2018 17:40 IST
Nozia Sayyed
Nozia Sayyed
Hindustan Times, Pune
world heart day,pune,doctors
Manda, mother of Prerna Chandanshive (centre) with Dr Manoj Durairaj, who conducted Prerna’s heart transplant surgery.(HT PHOTO)

On the occasion of World Heart Day, celebrated the world over on September 29, the theme this year is ‘my heart, your heart’ with doctors stressing that not only the heart diseases rate is increasing but also the ones affected may need a transplant in the future. With the number of transplants going up in the state, the rate of survival which was earlier around 60 to 65 per cent has gone up to almost 95 per cent, claimed experts in cardiology.

Dr RB Gulati, chief cardiologist and trustee at Ruby Hall Clinic said, “In the last one-and-a-half years, we performed 16 heart transplant surgeries of which 14 have survived. The rate is extremely good and in fact people should be more aware that transplants can save lives so donation and convincing and counselling of donor families in such cases have become important. Reason being, we are going to see more patients with end stage heart disease who will require transplant and hence counselling and awareness about donation related to heart is needed.”

Dr Sanjeev Jadhav, the first surgeon to perform heart transplant in western Maharashtra, from Jehangir Hospital, said, “Survival of patients post-surgery has increased, but there are many still who should come forward and spread awareness about the importance of organ donation. There are a few patients who have now post-transplant started conducting counselling on voluntary basis and are successfully educating families about organ donation and also have managed to convince many to donate not only heart but other organs.”

Survivors turning crusaders

One such patient Suhana Shaikh, 10-year-old from Navi Mumbai, who was operated upon by Pune’s Dr Jadhav in January this year, has become a counsellor for many. Her father Azad Ali, 44, a bus driver, said, “My financial condition is not good and we struggle a lot to make ends meet. My daughter Suhana was not feeling well in April last year and it was only cough and cold that was told to us, but we could see that she was losing weight rapidly. In just two months she had lost eight kilos. Later when we did blood tests and other examinations suggested by the doctors, we were informed about her suffering from a heart disease named cardiomyopathy.”

According to Azad, she was on death bed for almost a year and doctors had claimed that she may not live. However, still keeping hopes high the family had registered themselves with zonal transplant coordination centre (ZTCC) for a heart and, luckily, in January this year Suhana underwent a heart transplant surgery. Right after two months, her recovery was not only fast but she also started pursuing her hobby--dancing.

“Now looking at her love for the art, we chose to let her continue her hobby and enrolled her into a dance class. Besides that, we have also become counsellors which we do voluntarily. We usually visit hospitals who call us when there is an organ donation and we try to convince people to donate. Me and Suhana have convinced around eight families of brain dead patients to donate organs and we did that successfully,” said Ali.

Prerna Chandanshive, the 13-year-old from Parva taluka in Jalgaon, is raised by a single mother named Manda Chandanshive, who is just 34. Manda said, “I am a daily wage labourer and after losing Prerna’s father to a heart attack in 2016, I chose not to give up for Prerna who too was told by the doctors that she has no further days left to live. I earn around only Rs 100 per day and the cost of the surgery was beyond my imagination. However, I chose not to give up and sought help from various NGOs and later managed to get Prerna operated upon in Pune by Dr Manoj Durairaj. Prerna who was always seen gasping for breath and was so weak that she couldn’t even take a step, now walks almost more than a kilometre to her school. She is not only loved by everyone there, but she also likes to dance and has been practicing dance at home by watching TV as we cannot afford to enrol her into any dance classes. Not only that, now whenever we come to Pune for follow-ups we make sure that we talk to patients and their families about organ donation and how it can save lives. It is a boon for people like us and who loses hope.”

Now Manda along with Prerna makes sure to conduct necessary follow-ups and tests every two months and aims at spreading awareness related to organ donation. Her mother said, “Prerna’s heart function was below 10 per cent and needed an immediate transplant. She continued to be in hospitals since December 2016 and we got her operated upon in August 2017. Since then not only her health is improving, but she has been also educating people in our taluka and in her school about importance of organ donation.”

Dr Durairaj, secretary, Indian National Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, said, “Post-heart transplant, even though the survival has improved, patients should consistently take care of their health, continue to take regular medicines and regular check-ups are a must for further longevity. Only then the health of the heart of the patient will improve.”

Events across the city

Walk organised by AIMS hospital, Aundh on Sunday, to start from 6.15 am from the hospital back to the Hospital. Around 500 people will participate in the walkathon and there will also be a screening of patients for free post the walk by Dr Shirish Hiremath, chairman of the hospital.

Ruby Hall Clinic to celebrate World Heart Day by educating and informing people, visitors, patients, patients families about the important of yearly screening and check-up of one’s health and especially heart. Entire staff will welcome people and talk about heart day and improving one’s heart functions and importance of yearly health examinations. “We will be stressing more on preventive measures this time,” said Dr Sanjay Pathare, medical director, Ruby Hall Clinic.

First Published: Sep 29, 2018 17:39 IST