Family donates heart of 19-year-old boxer, saves teen battling for life

Family donates heart of 19-year-old boxer, saves teen battling for life
Fortis Hospital in Mulund (inset: Kivan Gajera)

A 19-year-old boxer’s heart helped save the life of a teenager from Ahmednagar who was battling for life since the last six months.

Surat resident Kivan Rameshbhai Gajera was participating in an inter-college boxing tournament on September 8. Gajera went on to win the bout. But, just as he was leaving the ring, he collapsed.

He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where he was given preliminary treatment and later shifted to Ayush ICU & multi-specialty hospital. An ACT scan done at the hospital detected a brain haemorrhage, following which a surgery was performed to remove the clot. However, on September 10, Gajera was declared brain dead by the doctors.

Later, Nilesh Mandlewala from Donate Life NGO counselled his family to donate his organs. The family also consulted their spiritual guru, who advised them to go ahead with the donation. On their behest, the family decided to donate their son’s heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and eyes.

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old suffering from restrictive cardiomyopathy was battling for life. The teen had approached Fortis Hospital in Mulund thrice in the past when the possibility of getting a transplant existed, but only to leave disappointed. He was on the waiting list of organ receivers for over six months.

“The patient was suffering from restrictive cardiomyopathy due to which his heart’s ejection fraction (EF) or pumping rate had dropped to merely five per cent, as against the normal of 55-60 per cent. He would have died any time,” said Dr Vijay Agarwal, chief of paediatric cardiac surgery, Fortis Hospital.

The teen, who originally hailed from Ahmednagar, was living in Thane with his relatives to ensure he could reach the hospital in time should a heart become available any time.

When the doctors were alerted about Gajera’s heart, a team of Fortis doctors harvested it. The heart was then airlifted from Surat in a private helicopter on Sunday morning and reached Fortis Hospital within one hour and 50 minutes.

The teen was taken to the operation theater around 8 am. By 4:30 pm, the heart was transplanted and he was moved to the ICU. He is currently stable and will be kept under observation for the next 48-72 hours. According to doctors at Fortis, the heart was a good match.

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