Chennai

Heart transplants in Chennai that changed young lives

Two young girls underwent the procedures at a private hospital in the city, and were funded by a trust

Two girls aged 11 and 17 years, recently underwent heart transplants that have enabled them return to normal life.

Agalya (11) was diagnosed with breathlessness and a heart condition at the age of three. Her parents Devi and Meenakshi Sundaram, who live in Nagercoil, took her to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram for treatment. She lived a severely compromised life until a few months ago, when she suffered bouts of bleeding through the mouth. She was then referred to chairman, cardiac sciences and director of heart and lung transplant and mechanical circulatory support of MGM Hospital, K. R. Balakrishnan.

Tushitha (17) will now be able to return to school. The commerce stream student has been suffering from breathlessness since she was 30 months old. A resident of OMR, when she was referred to Dr. Balakrishnan she had symptoms suggestive of severe heart failure.

Both girls hail from lower socio-economic families and did not have the money for a heart transplant. Aishwarya Trust supported them financially. The transplant surgeries, each costing ₹15 lakh were done during November/December last year.

On December 9, a compatible donor was found for Agalya in a private hospital in Coimbatore. The heart was transported in a commercial flight and transplanted on to Agalya. She was discharged on December 30, after the surgery, said Suresh Rao, K.G. co-director of heart and lung transplant and mechanical circulatory support.

Doctors found a matching donor for Tushitha on November 26 and the heart was transported from a private hospital in a two-hour trip to MGM Healthcare. She was discharged on December 20 and is reportedly doing well.

The idea of presenting the cases is to highlight the fact that a lot of patients need financial support. The outcomes are excellent when children undergo transplantation. These parents do not have the required money and the Trust stepped in, Dr. Balakrishnan said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:41:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/heart-transplants-in-chennai-that-changed-young-lives/article30469686.ece

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