Mappala Vasudevan, a 65-year-old professional athlete continues to defy all odds to create history at the Open International Masters 2023 Athletics Championship in Dubai, UAE by winning first place in Javelin Throw and second place in Discus Throw. This isn’t the first time that Vasudevan has won medals in this Championship. He has been winning these accolades across all age categories ever since he was 40 years old. What makes this win special is that it was just three years after his life-changing Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery at Meitra Hospital, Kozhikode.
Vasudevan's remarkable journey began in 2020 when he received the news that he needed open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve in his heart. As he prepared for the upcoming surgery, his first question to his heart surgeon was, "Doctor, will I be able to play sports again?” Being a professional athlete since 1970, it was imperative for him to know if he could be active again.
Dr Murali P. Vettath, Chair & Senior Consultant, Cardiovascular Surgery at Meitra Hospital, reassured him that he would just need to avoid lifting weights for 3 months, and with the right physiotherapy and post-surgical care, he would be ready to play sports again. Vasudevan's case was managed by a team of multidisciplinary experts from interventional cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, and Meitra’s advanced intensive care unit.
Following his successful surgery, Vasudevan resumed normal physical activity after just a month. There is a myth where one believes that open-heart surgery will lead to reduction of physical activity for the rest of their lives. However, Vasudevan was determined to prove this misconception wrong.
Just a year post his recovery, he participated in the State Masters Athletics Tournament in Trivandrum in 2021. To everyone's amazement, Vasudevan emerged as a champion, winning two gold medals in both Javelin Throw and Discus Throw at the State Level Athletic Championship, showcasing his incredible resilience.
Fast forward to 2023, Vasudevan's stellar journey continued as he performed at the Open International 2023 Masters Athletics Championship in Dubai, UAE held from October 27 to 29. Here, he once again displayed the sustained progress he had made after his heart surgery by winning first place in Javelin Throw and securing second place in Discus Throw. These wins stand as a testament to the power of perseverance and strength, the mark of a true athlete.
Meitra Hospital's Center of Excellence for Heart and Vascular Care is a highly ranked institution in the field of Cardiology and Cardiovascular surgery. It offers a comprehensive range of specialised services, including Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery, Heart Transplants, and Cardiac Rehabilitation. The centre uses advanced technology like a Robotic Hybrid Cath lab, 3D Transesophageal ECHO, Intra-vascular Ultrasound, Optical Coherence Tomography, Rotablation, 3-Tesla Cardiac MRI Imaging Suite, a 128 Slice CT Scanner, and mechanical circulatory support systems like ECMO for suitable cases.
The centre's multidisciplinary approach, coupled with state-of-the-art technologies and a patient-centric philosophy, sets it apart as a leader in cardiac care among healthcare institutions in the region.