Days before a heart from a brain dead person was transported to Chennai for transplantation, 17-year-old Jasan Sangma from Meghalaya underwent a heart transplant for a rare genetic disease at Narayana Health in the city.
The successful heart transplant surgery was a joint effort of the hospital team, the Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka for Transplantation (ZCCK), BGS Global Hospital (where a brain dead donor was identified), and the city traffic police who ensured seamless transfer of the heart within four-and-half hours.
The boy’s mother Sane B. Sangma, a teacher, had no words to thank the donor and the people responsible for the transplant. “After doctors diagnosed my son with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dyslplasia (ARVD), I initially lost hope. But thanks to the doctors and the donor my son has got a new life,” she said.
ARVD is a rare genetic heart disease with a global prevalence of one case per 1,00,000 people.
Explaining the initial symptoms, Ms. Sangma said Jasan had started exhibiting symptoms of swelling in the face and limbs when he was in class nine. His lips turned bluish and he snored heavily at night. “We went to Guwahati and then to Chennai for treatment and was referred to Narayana Health.”
Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist Shreesha Maiya explained that ARVD is a condition in which muscles of the heart get affected and the right ventricle is replaced by fat tissue. This results in poor functioning of the heart and the ability of the heart to pump blood is weakened.
Senior Consultant Transplant Cardiologist Bagirath Raghuraman said the number of heart transplantation surgeries was increasing by the day. “The survival rate is high if the patient does not skip daily medications. We have performed seven such surgeries in the last few years and two patients died post-transplantation. One among the two was a 51-year-old who discontinued medicines after a year,” Dr. Raghuraman said.
Jasan is the youngest and the first patient in the State to undergo a transplant for ARVD.
Of the 29 patients on the ZCCK waitlist for a heart, 22, including two children, are from Narayana Health City.