In two cities kids having new hearts beating in them
The boy suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, while the girl’s heart was functioning at 10 per cent, a rare disorder called arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathy (AVC). She underwent a heart transplant within a month of being on the recipient list and six months after her diagnosis.
Dilated cardiomyopathy, the problem afflicting the boy, is a debilitating condition and can drastically affect quality of life. He had been waiting for a transplant for over a year; his left ventricle was highly dilated. He received the heart from a brain-dead patient in Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, the girl was leading a normal life without realising she had a heart condition. She did not complain of any discomfort until she got infected with Covid-19. Then, an echocardiogram showed that both her ventricles (pumping chambers of the heart) were poorly functioning.
A rare heart condition, AVC affects the heart muscles causing them to be replaced with fatty tissue. This causes abnormal heartbeats, heart failure and risk of sudden death.
People are born with AVC but the condition usually manifests in youth or adulthood. Nearly one in 30,000 children might get affected by this disorder.
The girl was hospitalised thrice in the last six months, but her condition was not improving. Her family then contacted paediatric cardiac experts at Fortis.
Paediatric cardiologist at the hospital, Dr Swati Garekar said that the girl’s transplant was possible after a 25-year-old patient was declared brain dead at a Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad after an accident. The State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) offered the heart to patients in Maharashtra, and the girl was an ideal match.
Within an hour, the heart was transported from Ahmedabad to Fortis and the surgery took less than three hours, giving the girl a new lease on life.
Dr Dhananjay Malankar, the hospital’s consultant for paediatric cardiothoracic surgery, said they had anticipated two challenges – the patient’s blood pressure rising, leading to complications and difficulty closing the chest.
“The surgery was successful, and we did not face either of these two challenges,” he said, adding that the girl was discharged from the hospital and will have to continue to come for regular follow-ups lifelong.
Consultant for cardiothoracic surgery Dr Satish Javali said, “These are great stories that speak about the courage and dedication of the entire team and the two hospitals involved.”
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