Kerala heart transplant patient taken off ventilator

Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram, July 27 (IANS) The 46-year-old Kerala auto-rickshaw driver, who underwent a heart transplant surgery at a private hospital in Kochi on Friday, was taken off the ventilator on Monday, a doctor said.

Jose Chacko Periyapuram, the cardio thoracic surgeon who performed the surgery, said the patient A. Mathew would now be in the intensive care unit for the next two weeks and he is doing well.

On Friday, Periyapuram’s team flew from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram to remove the heart of a brain-dead man named Neelakanda Sharma.

With the heart, the doctors returned to the Kochi hospital, located about 210 km away. The heart was flown there with the help of the Indian Navy.

The medical team is hopeful of discharging the patient in a month’s time from now and for the time being, visitors are not allowed.

Meanwhile, a special mention was made by Kerala assembly Speaker N.Sakthan on the floor of the house on Monday who complimented each and every person for their role in making the transplant a success.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, having visited the hospital on Sunday, told the assembly that through this successful attempt, Kerala has proved to the world that “we are also capable of keeping pace with the developments in the health sector”.

“This success has given the medical professionals and all of us a lot of strength and we will be going forward in coming to the help of the needy,” said Chandy.

The surgery was performed as part of the Kerala government’s organ donation programme.

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