24th May, 2013. Friday. Chennai. In a rare act of benevolence and compassion, a Pakistani citizen has successfully undergone a complete heart transplant in a Chennai hospital – thus getting an Indian heart. Two months ago, when he landed in India, nobody gave the poor Mohammed Zubair Ashmi a chance of surviving the transplant. The 40 year old Pakistani citizen was ailing with dilated cardiomyopathy – a unique medical condition where the heart enlarges beyond normal and weakens, impeding the flow of blood to the liver, lungs and other organs.
Ashmi’s case was referred to Dr. Balakrishnan by the Pakistani doctors who were earlier handling his case. “After his arrival, we performed a detailed medical examination. We found that he also suffered from renal failure, and had fluid in his lungs and abdomen. Besides, he tested positive for hepatitis C. These just made his condition very difficult to treat,” explains Dr Balakrishnan. Fortunately for Ashmi, the heart tissues of a 37 year accident victim matched his own and doctor performed the transplant.
Ashmi can hardly wait to get back to his old life. “I feel perfectly fine. I want to go back to my country and my job. I am ready to start all over again,” he says. Doctors have reported the new heart will serve Ashmi well for at least the next 10 years.