44 year old Sunita’s case is a success story for all heart transplant patients in Delhi. She survived two bouts of infection and two spells of rejection in the last one year. She became the 30th patient in Delhi who underwent a successful heart transplant and celebrated the day with the docs who operated on her at Sir Ganga Ram hospital. Till date, 26 heart transplant have been carried at the country’s premier institute AIIMS and two at the Army Hospital Research and Referral.
“The number of survivors post-transplant is less because many die as the body rejects the foreign organ. It`s surprising that Sunita developed infection twice and her body rejected the organ as any times, still she beat all odds and today she completed one year of post heart transplant,” Dr Sujay Shad, senior consultant cardiac surgeon and director of heart transplantation at Sir Ganga Ram hospital said.
Sunita was admitted multiple times in the hospital in the last four years with repeated heart congestive heart failure. Dr J P S Sawhney, chairperson, department of cardiology with the hospital said, “Sunita suffered from breathing difficulty as pumping chambers of her heart became weak and dilated. As a result, fluid collected in the body and showed up as swelling of feet and liver. Over the years her symptoms worsened despite regular treatment and lately she required repeated admission to the hospital to treat advanced heart failure. She had no other option but heart transplant.” Sunita underwent the transplant on May 17 last year after a donation from a brain dead patient. “Today she is able to go for a walk in the park, walk about on all floors of her house, go to the kitchen and cook for her family- things she loved to do,” Dr Shad said. Dr D S Rana, chairman of the Hospital said, “About 10,000 heart failure patients require heart transplant but only a few undergo this surgery because of scarcity of donors. Hence, it is very important to spread awareness about organ donation in the society. It was successful because of the dedicated effort of doctors, nurses and all paramedics.”