• Saturday, May 18, 2024


Indian heart gives Pakistani teen new life: ‘I can finally breathe easy’

Ayesha was admitted to a hospital in 2019 when she suffered a heart attack leading to heart failure.

Average, 46,000+ transplants were performed in 2023 globally (Representative image: iStock)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

THE medical advancement has reached at peak and is still growing. The proof of this advancement is Ayesha Rashan, a 19-year-old girl from Karachi who aspires to become a fashion designer.

Ayesha was admitted to a hospital in 2019 when she suffered a heart attack leading to heart failure. She was later shifted to a hospital in India’s Chennai city for a heart transplant. She was listed in the state organ registry.

After five years of waiting, she again went to the hospital in India and on January 31, doctors from MGM Healthcare in Chennai performed a groundbreaking heart transplant, utilising the heart of a 69-year-old braindead patient flown in from a hospital in Delhi.

“I can finally breathe easy,” Ayesha expressed, her eyes reflecting newfound hope.

As an interim measure, Ayesha received a left ventricular assist device—a mechanical pump aiding the left ventricle in pumping blood. Despite returning home, her health deteriorated in 2023, with the right side of her heart failing along an infection.

Her mother, Sanober Rashan said, “It was heart-wrenching to witness my daughter’s suffering. We reached out to Dr Balakrishnan, expressing our financial constraints, but he urged us to come to India.”

In September 2023, Dr. Balakrishnan’s team determined that a heart transplant was Ayesha’s only viable option. After enduring multiple hospital visits, Sanober received a life-changing call from the hospital on January 31.

“A heart is allocated to international patients only when no suitable recipient is found within the country,” explained Dr. K.G. Suresh Rao, co-director at the hospital’s Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support. “Given that the donor’s heart was in good condition and recognising this as Ayesha’s sole chance, we made the decision to proceed despite the donor’s advanced age,” he affirmed.

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