On 20th July 2021, a team of doctors led by the renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale performed a rare, combined Heart and Lung transplant to save a terminally ill twenty-five-year-old woman, Ms. Labdhi Jain. Unfortunately, the recipient was born with congenital heart disease with a hole in her heart known as a ventricular septal defect and an abnormal connection between her Aorto-pulmonary window (great arteries).
Over the years, the congenital disability led to further deterioration in her health condition, increased lung pressure, and heart valves leakage. She was surviving on oxygen support at home for the last two-and-half years. In the past few months, she was admitted to various hospitals many times for heart failure. After examination, the transplant team at Hyderabad's Apollo Hospitals found her in an advanced heart failure stage coupled with increased lung pressures. The team prescribed combined Heart and Lung transplantation to save her life. She was registered under the State Government's Jeevandan Cadaver Transplantation program and was waiting for a suitable donor.
The team faced unique challenges in this case. The recipient at the time of listing for transplant weighed only 30 kgs. Getting a suitable organ that was appropriate for her size was daunting, as her heart cavity was small. She was helplessly waiting for a suitable organ for a prolonged period of over two and half years, with the hope of finding a small-sized organ diminishing by the day.
The cadaver heart and lung obtained from an eighteen-year-old girl, pronounced brain dead due to intracranial bleeding and thrombosis, aptly suited her requirement. Despite the immense sorrow of losing their child, the donor's family displayed exemplary courage and benevolence and gave consent to harvest their braindead daughter's organs. This humanitarian gesture on behalf of the grief-stricken loved ones brought joy back in the life of another family.
The recipient recovered well after surgery; her weight has improved to 38 kgs. She is being discharged from the hospital, freed from the burden of heart and lung disease, to enjoy life the way she deserves, and to overcome any obstacles that come her way with confident strides and a happy heart.