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1st Anniversary of Maharashtra’s Heart Transplant Program

Date : August 05, 2016

On the eve of World Organ Donation Week, transplant team at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, brought together 11 heart transplant recipients from across the country, who received donor hearts at the hospital. Hosted by Dr Anvay Mulay, Head of Cardiac Transplant Team, the event garnered support from Hon Shatrughan Sinha, who shared his thoughts on the Heart Transplant Channel within and beyond the state and how the recipients should now take the baton of ‘Organ Donation’ ahead.

At the occasion, these then-waitlisted patients who received donor hearts from across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Indore and Aurangabad; pledged to become the 'Cause Ambassadors’. The recipients came together for the first time, today, to commemorate the 1st successful heart transplant of Mumbai, conducted at Fortis Hospital, Mulund. Recorded after 47yrs, the landmark surgery conducted on 3rd August 2015 by Dr Anvay Mulay, gave a new lease of life to a 22yr old youth from Mumbai; and opening up the Heart Transplant Channel for the state.

Talking about the state of Organ Donation in India, Dr Anvay Mulay, Head of Cardiac Transplant Team, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said, “The concept of organ donation is not fully accepted and endorsed by many. However, is heartening to see that the momentum for the cause is picking up, if the numbers continue to build progressively, we would be able to help many more end-stage organ failure patients. We still have a long way to go before organ donations become routine but with the support of multiple responsible stakeholders, it should become a reality soon”. Talking about clinical landmark, he said, “It is the donor families who have helped create history in the state; I salute their courage and shall remain forever indebted to them. Our recipients as ambassadors for the cause, choosing to lead by example, will help us build momentum for the program”.

Talking about the occasion, Dr Vijay Agarwal, Chief of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, who conducted four successful transplants said, “It is an exceptional task to find a compatible match, in terms of age, weight, height and blood group for our recipients. We, as responsible stakeholders, need to overcome challenges and work together to raise awareness about the cause so that other wait-listed children have hope. Our little recipients here, have shown extraordinary strength and willpower to undergo such a complex procedure at such a young age”.

Addressing the recipients, Guest of honour Mr Shatrughan Sinha, said, “Tremendous hard work put in by the transplant surgeons and stakeholders from across the country, has helped make history in Maharashtra. These recipients are cherishing and valuing their second lives; I have no words to express my gratitude to the donor families who showed immense courage and donated organs of their beloved kin. We are committed to better the health of people of the state and will continue to support responsible organizations like Fortis, who, through their clinical expertise, continue to save and enrich lives. I appreciate the hospital’s efforts in spreading awareness about the cause”.

Talking about the one year milestone, Dr S Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said, “Our clinical teams have made heart transplant a modality, enabling numerous recipients to live again. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders who’ve selflessly contributed to the cause, and above all, the donor families. This landmark paves way, not just for Heart Transplants but for Heart & Lung Transplants within the state. I would like to wish the recipients who’ve joined us today, our ‘Cause Ambassadors’, healthy years ahead”.

With the hospital leading and conducting Programmes for Doctors, Nursing Home staff, Intensivists and Medical Social Workers across and beyond the state; to create awareness about the importance of organ donation, the impact will positively drive donation on a larger scale. Today at the hospital, an 8 bedded Cardiac Surgery and Heart Transplant Intensive Care Unit was also inaugurated.

Talking at the celebration, Mumbai’s 1st heart transplant recipient, Anwar Khan said, “I turn a year old today, thanks to the donor family at Pune, I can never thank them enough. Dr Anvay Mulay, gave me hope and it made me hope for a miracle – it happened on Aug 3rd”.

Mumbai’s 1st PaedCard transplant recipient Sweden D’Souza said, “At the hospital, Dr Vijay Agarwal and his team became my friends, they lead me to a new life, which I now enjoy with my family and friends. I never thought I’d be able to go to continue education but I’m back to college now!”

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