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New Lease on Life at 49: Kiran Kumar’s Journey to Recovery with a Complex Heart Transplant at BGS Gleneagles

Bangalore, Karnataka, India

At 49, Kiran Kumar’s daily walks felt like climbing mountains. Suffering from an extensive anterior wall myocardial infarction (MI) leading to relentless heart failure, his life was restricted and breathless. His turning point came in May 2023 when he visited BGS Gleneagles Hospital, experiencing chest pain and breathlessness. At the time, he was employed in the BWSSB Department.

Medical experts at the hospital identified severe damage to his left ventricle and pulmonary edema, complicating his condition further with diabetes, early chronic liver disease, and a blocked artery. Despite undergoing primary percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PTCA) and receiving medications, Mr. Kiran’s health critically deteriorated, as evidenced by a low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 15-20%.

In August, facing a rapidly declining quality of life, the option of a heart transplant was presented as a lifeline. Embracing this opportunity, Mr Kiran Kumar underwent the surgery on December 20, 2023. A skilled team, led by transplant surgeons Dr Balasubramani Govini, Dr Prem John, Dr Raghavendrra Chikatoor, alongside cardiac anesthesiologists Dr Sharanya Kumar and Dr Nandakumar, and cardiologists Dr Ravindranath Reddy and Dr PRLN Prasad, successfully conducted the six-hour operation. Within three hours, the donor heart revived, marking a milestone in Mr Kiran’s recovery and medical history.

Dr Govini, Programme Director Heart & Lung Transplant attributed the low numbers in the face of heart failure affecting 1 lakh patients annually, with only a mere 200 heart transplants taking place in India. Despite strong government support and insurance, our transplant numbers are remarkably low. Dr Govini underscores the need for change, urging improved organ donation and heightened public awareness: ‘Our goal is clear – to make a difference by encouraging more donations and spreading awareness about the importance of heart transplants’.

Dr Ravindranath Reddy, HOD & Sr Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, attributed the operation’s success to teamwork, preparation, and the hospital’s supportive leadership. The days following the surgery saw Mr Kiran gradually regaining strength under Gleneagles’ vigilant care, eventually walking out of the hospital with renewed vitality.

Biju Nair, Cluster COO, Gleneagles Hospitals Bengaluru, said this inspiring story not only demonstrates the transformative power of medical expertise and organ donation but also serves as a beacon of hope for those battling similar conditions. It underscores the urgent need for increased organ donation awareness, a crucial step in saving more lives and granting others like Mr Kiran a chance for a renewed existence.

 

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