Single donor saves multiple lives: Fortis in unique twin surgery

In a landmark series of medical events, surgeons of Fortis Hospital at Mulund in suburban Mumbai carried out Maharashtra's first simultaneous heart and liver transplant on a single recipient on Sunday.

Apart from the 24-year-old man from Silvassa, three more lives were saved with organs from the same donor in transplant surgeries in Mumbai and Chennai.

The organs these patients received were harvested from a 40-year-old woman who suffered a brain stem infarction with basilar artery thrombosis (brain stroke) at her residence. She was brought to to Fortis Hospital, Mulund, where the doctors declared her brain dead.

After some persuasion, the woman's family donated her heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. The lungs were sent for a waitlisted patient at Apollo Hospital, Chennai. One of the kidneys was sent for a patient at the Navy hospital INS Ashwini, and the second was despatched to Jaslok Hospital in South Mumbai.

The heart was harvested by Dr Anvay Mulay, head of cardiac transplant team at Fortis Hospital. Dr Rakesh Rai, senior consultant, hepato-pancreatic-biliary and transplant surgery, harvested the liver.

The heart and liver were successfully transplanted in the recipient, who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver. The surgery lasted for more than 14 hours.

According to a hospital release, cardiac and hepatic transplant surgeons, physicians, cadaver maintenance team, medical social workers and nursing teams from Fortis Hospital, Mulund, worked in exceptional coordination to enable Maharashtra's first heart and liver transplant.

Doctors said the patient was waitlisted as organ recipient in August 2017 at the hospital. The man had to discontinue his studies owing to increasing discomfort.

''We contacted the woman's family and explained the procedure of organ donation. Eventually, her husband and family members agreed to donate her organs,'' said the medical social worker at Fortis Hospital.

Dr S Narayani, zonal director, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said, ''Support provided by the ZTCC Mumbai, our clinicians and medical social workers, enabled this surgery. We would like to pay our respect to the donor family, who showed the grit even during their time of grief. Their noble deed has saved four lives.''