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Life after a heart transplant

Team of doctors who performed surgery
The heart of Kelvin who succumbed to brain death will continue to beat through Shabeer

Key Points

  • Shabeer, a 39-year-old suffering from end-stage heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy, underwent a successful heart transplant at Amrita Hospital in Kochi, India. He had been waiting for a heart for a year, and the organ donation from Kelvin Joy, who had expressed his wish to donate organs in case of his death, saved Shabeer’s life.
  • Kelvin Joy’s organs, including his heart, liver, small intestine, hands, both kidneys, and both corneas, were donated following his declaration of brain death. This generous gesture marked the first time in the state that eight organs were donated simultaneously.
  • Shabeer, who received Kelvin’s heart, recovered from surgery and was discharged from the hospital. The heart transplantation was performed by a team of doctors led by cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, transplant cardiologists, and medical staff.
24 August 2020
Main topic
Amrita Hospitals - Kochi, Faridabad
Related topics
Healthcare Humanitarian

Kochi: 39 year old Shabeer had been suffering from end stage heart failure for close to 3 years. He had been diagnosed with heart failure 3 years ago at Kannur due the condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. He underwent medical treatment but gradually deteriorated to the stage where heart transplantation was the only option.

He came to Amrita hospital, Kochi 1one year ago for further evaluation and treatment. After evaluation he was listed for heart transplant in the Kerala Network for Organ sharing (KNOS) registry. He rented a house close to the hospital and has been waiting for a heart for a year now. There is a severe lack of organ donors in Kerala, so he was starting to lose hope.

At this time, an alert came for a donor match on 17th of last month. Kelvin Joy who had been declared brain dead following brain bleeding had always expressed his wish that if he died that he would like to donate his organs. So when his doctors informed his family of his condition they expressed willingness to donate his organs.

Following organ donation protocol, KNOS was notified and for the first time in the State, 8 of his organs were donated including the heart, liver, small intestine, hands, both kidneys and both corneas.
This magnanimous gesture by Kelvin came like a gift from God for Shabeer who was losing hope of getting an organ. Everything moved quickly after that and he received his new heart in the middle of the night on 18th of last month.

He underwent a successful recovery from surgery and was discharged from the hospital yesterday. Shabeer plans to stay near the hospital for a few months before heading back to his home in Kannur.

Shabeer is married and has an elderly mother. He works in a hotel. Shabeer was able to arrange finances for the surgery with the help of his friends and community back in Kannur. He now looks forward to getting back to a normal life.
His heart transplantation was done by a large team led by doctors including Cardiac Surgeons Dr Praveen Varma, Dr Kiran Gopal and Dr Rajesh Jose, Cardiology head Dr Rajesh T, Transplant Cardiologist Dr Navin Mathew, Cardiac Anaesthetist Dr Aveek and his team and the operation theatre nurses and ICU nurses.

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