It needed ‘extra large’ heart to save a daughter

A girl of 10 transplanted with heart of a 26 year old adult at AIIMS

It needed ‘extra large’ heart to save a daughter

New Delhi, June 30: So far as getting heart for transplant is concerned, it is always ‘extra large’.

It is the large heartedness of a dead donor’s family that gifts life to a dying someone.

It was literally so at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

In a first of its kind, AIIMS has got a 10 year old bong girl transplanted with the heart of a 26 year old man. She was not only suffering from end stage heart failure, she had jaundice too to make her survival a distant possibility. It was a kind of manna from heaven that pulled her back from the jaws of death.

The adult heart measured 53mm, nearly double the size of a child’s heart. But diseased girl’s chest cavity could accommodate heart of the deceased because it had swollen to make as much space. The Kolkata girl was admitted in AIIMS in December last year.

According to the treating doctors, her heart muscles were weak and she was suffering from jaundice too. All medications failed to improve girl’s heart function. Her family was just awaiting her end. She was not even in the main list for transplant because she was in a very critical condition. Child heart is rarely available from cadaver donors.

She just chanced upon the procedure because cadaver donor did not find a matching recipient.

Fortunately for the girl, it worked and she has got a long lease of life, Cardiac surgeon Balram Airan led the team who performed the fortuitous transplant. AIIMS has so far performed 35 transplants over the last two decades but this one proved rare and the first case of child heart transplant. The long term survival in heart transplanted children is good and the said girl can live up to another 10 years.

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