KOCHI: Girish Kumar, an IT professional from Palakkad who is living with a third heart, a medical miracle, has celebrated the fifth year of 'second rebirth' on Wednesday.
"If I get a matching heart, I am ready for a second transplant," the words of Mr Kumar who was admitted in cardiac ICU in Lisie Hospital are still echoing in the ears of Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram, leading cardiothoracic surgeon.
He was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy (loosening of heart muscles and losing its elasticity), had his first heart transplant at the age of 38 years in 2013. But, eight months after the transplantation, he developed an infection of one of the heart valves and was again admitted to the hospital in serious condition.
Later, he had a cardiac arrest and was revived after aggressive resuscitation by a multidisciplinary team.
The two options left were either a valve replacement, which had a very high risk of re-infection or a second heart transplant.
Doctors briefed about the seriousness and risks involved, but Mr Kumar, having a fighting spirit, was ready for it.
Fortunately, he received a matching organ from another city hospital on the very next day, and the surgery was successful.
"It is for the first time that a second heart transplant was done on a patient at that time. It is a rare and challenging procedure, looking at the world statistics," said Dr Periappuram.
"He's a real fighter who has gone through several health issues requiring challenging and highly invasive procedures and medications. He also underwent a hip joint replacement and a surgery for a kidney stone."
Mr Kumar celebrated his "fifth birthday" with Dr Periappuram, other doctors and staff of Lisie Hospital.
Actor Jayasurya graced athe occasion. Fr Ajo Moothedan, Dr Jacob Abraham, Dr Rony Mathew, Fr Jerry Njaliath, Dr Jo Joseph, Dr Jeevesh J. Thomas and Dr Bhaskar Ranganathan were also present....