He made it 5315 kilometres from Dodoma to Chennai, but before Elfalah Khamis Nassor (60) could drive another 9 km from the airport to MIOT Hospitals for his medical appointment, his heart gave out.
Nasoor and his wife had flown from Tanzania to Chennai from Muscat by Oman Air flight WY 251 which arrived at the airport at 6.15 am.
"It had taken some time for them to get their luggage and clear customs. It was a little before 7 AM when they finally reached the lift lobby and started to exit the terminal when he suddenly clutched his chest and fell down," said a vendor inside the international terminal.
Though doctors from the Apollo Emergency Clinic at the airport were called to revive him, all they could do was to pronounce him dead.
Nassor, a Tanzanian citizen whose doctor had found that one of his heart valves was either weak or damaged, had suggested that he get it operated in a foreign country.
After some internet research, he and his wife Habsy Nasrah Kalfan (49) had zeroed in on MIOT Hospital is Nandambakkam and contacted their international desk, "He had hypertension, diabetes mellitus and his heart valves had been problematic. So we were to reconfirm the diagnosis and offer surgical aid if necessary," said a spokesperson from the multispeciality hospital.
Doctors at the airport have confirmed that Oman Airways had transported the body to the Chrompet GH for a post-mortem exam, though MIOT had offered to handle the relieving formalities. "His death may have been caused by the stress of travel as his heart may have been extremely weak. It is very tragic," said an AAI official.
His wife is in an extremely distraught state, but has consented to return home with his body, on Friday.