The lungs of a 21-year-old road accident victim from Hyderabad, who was declared brain dead by doctors at Global Hospitals, was harvested and transplanted into a patient in Chennai.
35-year-old Ganesh (name changed) was a six-footer only made things worse as finding a matching donor lung to replace his diseased organ was a struggle and was alive for more than two months by means of a dozen oxygen cylinders. "We got a call from another private hospital three days back saying they had a donor. But when a team went to check, we found the man was a four-footer and his lungs were too small for Ganesh," said Dr Govini Balasubramani, cardiothoracic vascular surgeon at Global Hospitals, Chennai, where Ganesh was admitted.
Ganesh, a businessman from Vijayawada, suffered from severe bouts of cough and breathlessness. Doctors found that his lungs had shrunk and put him on medication. Ganesh found it increasingly hard to even walk around his house and was forced to give up work. His family's search for help led them to Chennai. Doctors at Global Hospitals recommended a transplant as his lungs had become close to dysfunctional. "This was affecting his other organs as well, as oxygen supply to them had decreased. We put him on the transplant list and worked on reviving his other organs," said Dr Balasubramani.
On September 26, Global Hospital received a call from its unit in Hyderabad, saying a 21-year-old patient there had been declared brain dead. "The first thing I asked them was how tall the donor is," said Dr Balasubramani. The response he got could help Ganesh breathe easy for a long time: "He should be around 6'1," said the caller.
On September 27, at around 3.50am, the lungs were harvested and brought to Chennai. "A green corridor was created in Hyderabad as there was heavy truck movement. In Chennai, it wasn't required as the morning traffic was lean. The entire journey took around three hours," said Dr Balasubramani, who led a team of 16 surgeons, nurses and other supporting staff to transplant the organ.
"The procedure went smoothly and he is stable, but we will continue to closely monitor him for the next 48 hours," said Dr Balasubramani.