Sweden D’Souza (17) a junior college commerce student from Mumbai after Heart Transplant Resumes College. Good Samaritans helped this 17-year-old girl towards hospital expenses-she was the first patient in Mumbai to undergo a peadiatric heart transplant. After the surgery, Sweden wrote her Class XI exams from home, and passed, which promoted her to Class XII. “I am feeling much better and looking forward to resume college today,” says Sweden.
Mangaluru: Among the many good Samaritans who had come forward to help 17-year-old Sweden D’Souza with her hospital bills (nearly Rs 30 lac) when she underwent a heart transplant surgery, was one Worli-based entrepreneur (who wanted to remain anonymous) who came forward to be a major sponsorer- he also agreed to sponsor Sweden’s further education expenses also. The teenager’s father, Anthony D’Souza who works as a security guard and earns Rs 16,000 a month, was worried about hospital bills and post-operative care that would have set his family back by Rs 30,000 per month. But God was great, the D’Souza family was showered with donations from all corners of the nation, including a 91-year-old resident from Delhi donating Rs 10,000. Thanks also to media for the reports, which attracted many to come forward to be donors.
Sources reveal that Dr Vijay Agarwal, head of paediatric cardiac surgery department had said, “It is heartening to see people coming forward to help Sweden. We have been receiving many calls, including this Worli-businessman who has agreed to take care of the hospital bills and her education. We have a few more people who are willing to sponsor her medicines after she is discharged from the hospital. Sweden recovered faster, compared to other heart transplant patients in the hospital. All her parameters were normal after surgery. There are many philanthropists who are willing to sponsor paediatric heart surgeries. We want donors as well as children who need heart transplants. We had to refuse some cadaver hearts in the last few days as we didn’t have patients, which is sad,”.
Today, barely five months after she underwent a heart transplant, Sweden D’Souza, 16, is all set to resume college. Sweden was released from the hospital in January this year. It is learnt that Sweden was in Class XI when she had suddenly started complaining of chest pain and breathlessness and was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. She was wait listed for a heart and in January this year had a transplant when a cadaver heart donation was made in Indore. A team of doctors from Fortis Hospital, Mulund, had harvested the heart, airlifted it to Mumbai and transplanted it into Sweden. Her progress was encouraging and she was discharged within a fortnight of undergoing the transplant.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com over the phone from Vikhroli-Mumbai, Anthony D’Souza, the father of Sweden said, ” First of all through your website I would like to say a big thank you to all the financial donors, mainly the Worli based entrepreneur who had contributed the most towards hospital expenses. My sincere thanks also the heart donor from Indore-Madhya Pradesh. I kindly request people to sign up for Organ Donation, which will save lives, just like how it saved my daughter’s life. She has recovered very well. We have been following the treatment regimen very well. Now her medication too has reduced from eight tablets a day to just four tablets. We had also set up an air-conditioned sanitized glass cabin at our residence to keep her insulated. We had also kept her contacts with people to a minimal, with only her mother entering the room with her food and medications. On May 22, for the first time after her discharge from the hospital we took her out on a family picnic, where she breathed some fresh air and was all happy”
“Having two more children to take care of, I have been working double shifts ever since Sweden had the heart transplant. I have been doing double shifts to ensure that I can save enough money for her medicines once she returns home. Luckily, the hospital has been very cooperative, and also thankful that many donors came forward to share the hospital bills which was over Rs 30 lacs. I am also grateful to the Principal and management of St Xavier’s High School and College in Kanjumarg-Mumbai for their efforts in allowing my daughter to answer her exams. They ensured that my daughter didn’t miss a year. The hospital had submitted the doctor’s letter to the college about my daughter’s condition and requested that she should be allowed to appear for the Class XI exam from home, to which the college agreed. She was given the question paper and a teacher stood outside while she wrote the answers. I was happy to note that Sweden passed the exam and was promoted to Class XII. Today she is all good, excited and ready to go back to her college “
What is heart transplant?
A heart transplant, or a cardiac transplant, is a surgical transplant procedure performed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary artery disease. As of 2008 the most common procedure is to take a working heart from a recently deceased organ donor (cadaveric allograft) and implant it into the patient. The patient’s own heart is either removed (orthotopic procedure) or, less commonly, left in place to support the donor heart (heterotopic procedure). Post-operation survival periods average 15 years. Heart transplantation is not considered to be a cure for heart disease, but a life-saving treatment intended to improve the quality of life for recipients. The procedure is considered when neither medication nor other surgeries can save a patient. The heart will be taken from a person declared brain dead, with his family’s permission.
A typical heart transplantation begins when a suitable donor heart is identified. The heart comes from a recently deceased or brain dead donor, also called a beating heart cadaver. The patient is contacted by a nurse coordinator and instructed to come to the hospital for evaluation and pre-surgical medication. At the same time, the heart is removed from the donor and inspected by a team of surgeons to see if it is in suitable condition. Learning that a potential organ is unsuitable can induce distress in an already fragile patient, who usually requires emotional support before returning home.
The patient must also undergo emotional, psychological, and physical tests to verify mental health and ability to make good use of a new heart. The patient is also given immuno-suppressant medication so that the patient’s immune system does not reject the new heart. Be a “Organ Donor”.