New Delhi: A 24-year-old, who was suffering from congestive heart failure, got a new lease of life after undergoing a heart transplant surgery at a Heart specialty hospital in South Delhi. The heart donor was a 25-year-old engineering student, who died in an accident while riding a motorcycle and died with multiple fractures and multiple organ failure, and was later declared brain dead in Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj. Once the brain death was confirmed, the Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant (FORT) team then approached the family to see if they would be willing to donate organs of the deceased. The next of kin, the boy’s father is himself battling cancer. Not only did he cope up with the grief of losing his young son but in a very short span of time mustered the courage to give consent for his son’s organs to be donated.
“My brother was a very jovial and strong person. Even though he was younger to me, he has supported me as if he is my elder brother,” said the elder brother of the deceased. “It is only for the noble cause that we have taken this difficult decision to donate the organs,” he further added.
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To make the heart transplant happen, the organ had to be ferried from Vasant Kunj to the Heart hospital 14 kilometres away during peak traffic hours negotiating South Delhi’s busy Outer Ring Road. A route that would normally take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour was covered in just 18 minutes and 5 seconds, as a green corridor was created to transport the organ to its destination in the shortest possible time.
A special Cardiac ambulance which carried the beating heart proceeded smoothly through the green corridor created with the help of Delhi Traffic Police, who not only managed all the red lights on the route but also escorted the ambulance.
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On reaching the heart hospital, the live heart was urgently rushed inside, where a 4-hour life-saving surgery was done to transplant the donated heart.
Speaking about the cooperation of Delhi Traffic Police, Dr Rajeev Sood, Director of Urology, Robotics and Renal Transplantation said, “We as transplant surgeons are extremely grateful to Delhi Police for creating green corridor, whereby the road is kept clear for the ambulance carrying the organ to drive directly to reach the destination in the shortest possible time”.
Eventually, five organs of the deceased were donated. The organs were allocated to hospitals based on the guidelines of the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) – while the heart was allocated to the heart hospital; one kidney was given to a 59-year old patient who has been on a dialyses for the past three years in the same hospital; second kidney was allocated to another patient of kidney failure in a hospital in Central Delhi, cornea went to AIIMS and the liver was given to different hospital in heart of Delhi.
As per the statistics shared by Dr Vimal Bhandari, Director, NOTTO, the organ donor scene is gradually picking up in the country with at least 13 lakh people pledging organs last year as compared to 9,000 in 2011. “The target set by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is 20 lakh for this year and we are approaching it,” said Dr Bhandari.