KOCHI: Five years ago, when Girish Kumar, a techie from Wipro, approached Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Lisie Hospital, Kochi, for a heart transplant, his only dream was to live. On Wednesday, 44-year-old Girish celebrated his fifth birthday after the heart transplant, in an event organised at Lisie Hospital. Periappuram and his team, who had successfully conducted the heart transplant, were present on the occasion. Actor Jayasurya also took part.
“If I can get a matching heart, I am ready for a second transplant,” were Girish’s words when he approached the doctor. It was in 2013 his first heart transplant took place at Lisie Hospital. He was suffering from Dilated Cardiomyopathy, where heart muscles lose their elasticity and slowly get ballooned out. He was also suffering from Ankylosing Spondylosis. He had a hip joint replacement eight months after the first transplant. Due to an infection of one of the heart valves, he was subjected to a second transplant in March 2014.
“The infection of the valve caused cardiac arrest and he had to be placed on ventilator support. Only two options were left - valve replacement or a heart re-transplantation. He chose re-transplantation after a lot of research on his own,” said Periappuram who undertook the surgery that lasted more than 10 hours.
Getting a heart from a donor of the same blood group and matching body size at the nick of time needed sheer luck. Organ donation must be encouraged to save more lives, said the doctor. “It is only due to the willingness of the donor that I am alive now. Therefore, keeping misconceptions aside, people must encourage organ donation and save lives,” said Girish.
Actor Jayasurya, while addressing the gathering, stressed the relevance of organ donation.
“Genuine prayers and the happiest and saddest moments in life happen in hospitals. The confidence that Girish showed for undergoing the transplantation is the most encouraging factor for the doctors doing the surgery. There is no doubt if families permit, organs may be donated from those declared brain dead, and many lives can be saved,” said the actor.