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Life after a Heart Transplant

The heart of Kelvin who succumbed to Brain death will continue to beat through Shabeer

Kochi: 39 year old Shabeer had been suffering from end stage heart failure for close to 3 years. He had been diagnosed with heart failure 3 years ago at Kannur due the condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. He underwent medical treatment but gradually deteriorated to the stage where heart transplantation was the only option. He came to Amrita hospital, Kochi 1 year ago for further evaluation and treatment. After evaluation he was listed for heart transplant in the Kerala Network for Organ sharing (KNOS) registry. He rented a house close to the hospital and has been waiting fro a heart for a year now. Due to the lack of organ donors in Kerala for the last few years his wait had become a race against time over the last year and he was starting to lose hope.

That was when the alert came for a donor match on 17th of last month. Kelvin Joy who had been declared brain dead following brain bleeding had always expressed his wish that if he died that he would like to donate his organs. So when his doctors informed his family of his condition they expressed willingness to donate his organs. So following organ donation protocol KNOS was notified and for the first time in the State, 8 of his organs were donated including the heart, liver, small intestine, hands, both kidneys and both corneas.
This magnanimous gesture by Kelvin came like a gift from god for Shabeer who was losing hope of getting an organ. Everything moved quickly after that and he received his new heart in the middle of the night on 18th of last month.

He then had an uneventful recovery from surgery and was discharged from hospital yesterday. Shabeer plans to stay near the hospital for a few months before heading back to his home in Kannur. Shabeer is married and has an elderly mother. He works in a hotel. Shabeer was able to arrange finances for the surgery with the help of his friends and community back in Kannur. He now looks forward to getting back to a normal life.
His heart transplantation was done by a large team led by doctors including Cardiac Surgeons Dr Praveen Varma, Dr Kiran Gopal and Dr Rajesh Jose, Cardiology head Dr Rajesh T, Transplant Cardiologist Dr Navin Mathew, Cardiac Anaesthetist Dr Aveek and his team and the operation theatre nurses and ICU nurses.

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