'Achhe Din' for Achadan with Aerial Heart

Published: 29th December 2015 03:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th December 2015 03:40 AM   |  A+A-


As Latha Sharma, gave them the nod to donate the organs of her husband, S Neelakanda Sharma, who was declared brain-dead, the Indian Navy pulled out a rare rescue op by lending a Dornier to ferry a heart from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi. It was the first time in India that a defence aircraft was used as an air ambulance in a civilian medical emergency.

A 46-year-old Sharma, a lawyer, was declared brain-dead at Thiruvananthapuram’s Sree Chitra Tirunal (SCT) Institute of Medical Sciences. Mathew Achadan, an autorickshaw driver, was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (MCM).  He had been waiting for a donor since doctors at Kochi’s Lissie Hospital had said heart transplantation was the only way to save his life. Their fates got twined in what turned out to be one of the most remarkable and unparalleled chapter in the history of human organ harvesting. Transferring the heart from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi, even with a green corridor, in less than the four-hour deadline set by doctors was out of the question. While a chopper would take close to 90 minutes for the flight between the two cities, a Dornier could do it in just 35 minutes.  By 6.10 pm, a group of doctors at SCT Institute had harvested Sharma’s heart after a five-hour operation that had its share of anxious moments.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp