Kochi: Syro-Malabar Church head Cardinal Mar George Alencherry on Tuesday lauded a medical team that that successfully performed a heart transplant in a Kochi hospital
The cardinal visited Lisie Hospital where the medical team transplanted the heart that was brought by air ambulance from Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala state capital.
Lauding the medical, Cardinal Alencherry said God was with Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram, the cardiac surgeon who led the surgery. “The success of the surgery is an achievement for the state’s healthcare sector,” he said. He also commended Bhaskar Renganathan, Jacob Abraham, Jeevesh J Thomas, Job Wilson, Grace Maria and the other doctors who were part of the team.
The cardinal also visited Bindu, wife of Mathew Achadan who received the harvested heart. “An act of goodwill will give birth to a lot of other such deeds. The success is the result of the combined effort by many. The government’s plan to make air ambulance permanent gives much hope,” he said.
“We are grateful for the support and encouragement we got from everyone,” said Dr Jose Chacko. Meanwhile, Mathew Achadan was given solid food on Tuesday, the first time after the surgery. “The doctors mobilized him. His organs are functioning normally,” said Dr Jose.
Kerala used an air ambulance for the first time in this case.
The organ donor, Advocate Neelakanta Sharma, was declared brain dead at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology on Friday morning. The recipient, Mathew, was waiting in Kochi’s Lisie Hospital. The distance would have proved daunting as a heart has to be transplanted within four hours of its being harvested, but the air ambulance proved to be a life saver.
A medical team from Kochi reached Thiruvananthapuram on Friday afternoon. They soon flew back with the heart in a Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy. The roads in Kochi were cleared for the ambulance which took just 13 minutes to cover the distance between the naval airbase in Wellington and the hospital in Kaloor.
Within 1 hour 15 minutes, the heart had reached the hospital in Kochi. It took 3 hours 48 minutes for the heart to be transplanted into the patient after it was harvested from the recipient.