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Mumbai’s 1st pediatric heart transplant of 2021

45yr-old Mumbaikar breathes life into a 15-yr old boy

~ Transplant enabled by Mumbai’s 3rd cadaveric donation at Fortis Hospital, Mulund ~

~ 15-year old student after his transplant will appear for board exams soon ~

  A team of cardiac specialists at Fortis Hospital, Mulund led by Dr Dhananjay Malankar, Senior Consultant in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, successfully performed a lifesaving heart transplant on a 15-year old student from Mumbai. This feat became possible after the wife and mother of a 45-year old business owner from Mumbai consented to donate his organs. Earmarked as Mumbai’s 1st heart transplant 2021, the surgery was concluded in two and half hours.

 The donor suffered from Catastrophic Posterior Circulation Infarct (Ischemic stroke). After his brain death, the family was counselled about Organ Donation, after which the patient’s wife and mother consented to donate; the organ retrieval and transplant process was initiated thereafter. Medical teams, nursing teams and Medical Social Workers worked in perfect tandem to enable the lifesaving surgeries.

 “As much as this story brings hope of life to a young school-going boy and his parents, it also speaks of courage & commitment that our team exhibited to save a life in the nick of time. The young patient was admitted with us as his heart failure worsened. The donor’s family’s act of giving helped breathe new life into our young recipient”, said Dr Dhananjay Malankar, Senior Consultant in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery.

 The young patient, a standard X student, suffered from Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a condition that gradually leads to heart failure. The child had lost a sibling to the same medical condition. The patient frequented the hospital from time to time due to his deteriorating condition. He was on the waiting list for a cardiac transplant for the past year. Moreover, during the pandemic getting a suitable donor became a tall task. The number of donations drastically fell during the pandemic, adding to the plight of people on the waiting list.

 “Such acts of kindness, courage and medical excellence reflects the true spirit of Mumbai, as people come forward for the cause of organ donation & help those who live on the brink of death every day. We express our gratitude to the donor family, and salute the team who enabled the donation, and subsequent transplants with great precision”, said Dr S Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals Mumbai.

 Dr Swati Garekar, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mulund,said “Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a bad disease to have, and this young man’s heart was irreversibly extremely weak & enlarged. It is heartening that our team was able to offer this lifesaving option of heart transplant to him. Worldwide, 5000 heart transplants are performed annually, of which about 500 are conducted on children. Heart transplant recipients are able to resume their normal life, but have to strictly adhere to their medications and be tested periodically for rejection & infection.”

 “I lost my elder son when he was 13-years-old due to Dilated Cardiomyopathy. At that time, a heart transplant program did not exist in Mumbai. After a few months, I was advised to get my younger son screened and he too was diagnosed with the same heart condition, he needed a heart transplant to survive. I could not bear the thought of losing my only child. Travelled to Kerala to seek help for my son, when I learnt that Mumbai’s first heart transplant was done at Fortis Hospital. I reached out to the team of doctors here, I saw the light at the end of tunnel. We patiently waited, and my son finally got a new heart, a new life; thanks to the donor’s family for saving our son”, says the child’s father.

The 15-year old recipient was discharged over the weekend and will be able to give his board exams this year without missing a beat.

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