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Critical teenage Emirati awaits heart re-transplant in India

Doctors in Chennai who have placed him on priority for transplant are hopeful

Image Credit: Gulf News archives
Emirati Siblings with Dr. Attawar Sandeep, Program Director and Chair of Cardiac Surgery and Heart & Lung Transplantation at Gleneagles.
Gulf News

Dubai: An Emirati teenager who suffered a rejection of a heart transplanted in 2017 is critical and awaits a new donor heart in a hospital in Chennai, India.

According to a medical bulletin issued by the Fortis Malar hospital in Chennai, India, where Mohammad Sultan Khamis Khalfan Al Yahyee is a patient, the 17-year old Emirati teenager from Abu Dhabi suffered a rejection of the heart transplanted in him in another hospital in India. He was transferred to the Fortis Malar Hospital on February 23 and has been placed on top priority in the transplant list for a another heart.

Dr K R Balakrishnan, director of the heart transplant centre at Fortis Malar, is treating the young boy who is in ICU after the donor heart he received last year at the Gleneagles Global Hospital, Chennai, last year was rejected by his body in early January 2018.

It may be recalled that in 2017, the two brothers, Hamad Sultan Khamis Khalfan Al Yahyee, 18, and Mohammad Khamis Khalfan Al Yahyee, then 16, who belong to a family of seven siblings with a history of familial cardio myopathy or varying degrees of disease of the heart muscle, received a cadaver heart each in April 2017 at Gleneagles Global Hospital Chennai.

The transplant surgeon, Dr Sandeep Attawar, who had spoken to Gulf News then had said: “The brothers were fortunate they received donor hearts from a 23-year-old deceased patient from Vishakhapatnam and a 17-year-old deceased patient from Madurai, respectively.”

Both brothers were doing well until Mohammad began showing signs of heart rejection in January 2018 and was first treated in UAE and then at Gleneagles Global hospital. However, the teenager went into cardiac arrest and was put on ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) support on January 13 this year. He was put on BIVAD (Biventricular assist device) support and underwent an embolectomy (clot removal) from his lower limbs at Gleneagles Global, according to the Fortis Mallar hospital bulletin where he was subsequently transferred on February 23 as his condition continued to deteriorate.

The hospital has put him on the top of the state transplant registry list for re-transplantation. The bulletin said the patient was in the intensive cardiac care unit and was stable.

Dr Balakrishan and his transplant team are quite optimistic of getting the young boy a new heart which according to hospital sources can happen anytime.

The patient’s father Sultan Yahyee, distressed over his son’s critical condition, declined to speak to the media and continued his dedicated vigil over his son. The hospital is going to issue regular medical bulletin updates on the patient’s status.

According to hospital sources at the transplant centre, the transplant cost for each international patient in India that includes the cost of chartering jets to retrieve the donor heart and arrange for green corridors and the entire procedure is around $70,000 (Dh257,000 approximately).