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12-year-old boy’s vital organs harvested; six get new lease of life

While the heart was flown to Chennai, a kidney and liver were taken to Madurai and Tiruchi by road

August 26, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 07:13 am IST - TIRUNELVELI:

Noble gesture:The harvested heart of 12-year-old S. Avinash being taken in an ambulance for transfer to a chartered aircraft at Thoothukudi airport on Thursday.— Photo: N. Rajesh

Noble gesture:The harvested heart of 12-year-old S. Avinash being taken in an ambulance for transfer to a chartered aircraft at Thoothukudi airport on Thursday.— Photo: N. Rajesh

Vital organs of a brain dead 12-year-old S. Avinash from Kottar in Nagercoil were harvested at a hospital in the city on Thursday to give a new lease of life to six patients in Chennai and Tiruchi.

While the heart was airlifted from Thoothukudi airport to Chennai by a special aircraft, a kidney and the liver were taken to Madurai and Tiruchi by road through a ‘green corridor’ en route. Another kidney and the corneas were used locally.

Avinash, a class VII student from Vaagaiyadi in South Car Street in Kottar, was hit by a speeding bike on August 18 and suffered serious head injury. Even though he was admitted to a private hospital immediately, his condition steadily deteriorated.

When the doctors told the victim’s father Swaminathan, a salesman in a textile showroom in Nagercoil, on Wednesday evening that his son was brain dead, the inconsolable father agreed to donate his son’s organs after consulting with his wife Latha, a nurse at a private hospital.

On being brought to nephrologist J. Balasubramanian’s Kidney Care Centre in Tirunelveli Junction, a team of doctors harvested the heart, both the kidneys, the liver and the corneas on Thursday.

Since the Tirunelveli City and the District Police had made arrangements for creating a green corridor, the ambulance carrying the heart left the hospital at 2 p.m. to reach the Thoothukudi airport, situated about 42 km away, at 2.27 p.m.; the heart was taken to Chennai by a chartered flight at 2.45 p.m. The heart, said K. R. Balakrishnan, director of cardiac sciences, Fortis Malar Hospital Chennai, went to a little girl from overseas, around a year old and weighing only six kilograms, one of the smallest recipients the hospital has performed heart transplants on.

“She was suffering from a muscle defect in the heart, wherein the heart muscle does not develop properly and heart function is poor, a condition known as non-compaction. Her heart function was only 10 per cent. She came to us last month. The surgery has been completed now, and the patient is fine,” he said.

Since ambulances had already arrived from Madurai and Tiruchi, the liver, a kidney and a cornea were taken by road. The liver of Avinash was used for a 32-year-old woman with end-stage liver disease awaiting a transplant in Tiruchi.

A team of doctors from Cethar Hospital, Tiruchi, went to the hospital in Tirunelveli to harvest the organ. After harvesting the organ, the team left Tirunelveli by 2.30 p.m. and reached here in three hours thanks to the support provided by the police in creating a green corridor. The liver transplant is currently underway at our hospital,” said S.P. Karthick, managing director, Cethar Hospital.

(Inputs from Zubaida Hamid in Chennai and S. Ganesan in Tiruchi)

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