A two-year-old baby boy from Russia has got a new lease of life after successfully undergoing a heart transplant in a private hospital in Chennai.
The transplanted heart, that is beating well now, belonged to a two-year-old boy from Bangalore who was diagnosed as brain dead.
“The challenge was getting the heart of right size in the case of a child,” Suresh Rao K.G., who heads the critical care and cardiac anaesthesia department at Fortis Malar Hospital, told reporters.
The doctors claimed it was India’s first paediatric heart transplant operation which lasted for nearly eight hours.
Weighing only seven kg, the boy – Gleb Kudriavtsev from Moscow – was suffering from restrictive cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart loses its capacity to relax with each beat affecting pumping of blood.
As heart transplant was the only solution, the search was on for a suitable baby heart.
The good news came from Bengaluru where the parents of the two-year-old boy agreed to donate his organs.
In 47 minutes, the harvested heart was transported from Bengaluru to Chennai.
Baby Gleb was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy when he had just turned one.
From being a healthy baby, his mother Nelli Kudriavtceva witnessed her little one go breathless and suffer from heart failure.
Mobilising monetary support for the treatment, she travelled with her baby to Munich, where German doctors confirmed the diagnosis but refused to treat him due to high lung pressure.
Finding the US to be very costly, Kudriavtceva came to Chennai with her baby boy in November 2014.
The baby was immediately listed on the transplant list at both the state level and the regional level so that he could get a suitable heart at the earliest.
On Dec 18, the team at Fortis Malar received an alert about a suitable heart being available at the Manipal Hospital in Bangalore.
Immediately, a team of doctors from Fortis Malar went to Bangalore and evaluated the suitability of the heart. The heart was harvested, airlifted using a charter flight and brought to Chennai.
The surgery was carried out successfully Dec 19. In view of high lung pressure, the new heart took about 10 days to adjust after which the baby recovered rapidly, doctors said.