Rahul Thakur (21) from Jalgaon district, who was the first person in Maharashtra to get a heart and lung transplant 10 months ago, died on Saturday, after his body rejected the transplanted lungs. Thakur, who was suffering from end stage heart and lung diseases, was operated upon at Fortis Malar hospital in Chennai on March 7 last year.
Amalner-based Thakur had a hole in his heart since birth. The defect changed the normal flow of blood, bringing extra blood into his heart's right side and putting added pressure on his lung's blood vessels, leading to breathlessness. His heart's efficiency had dropped from 60 to 10-15 per cent. Several parts of his body had become swollen, and he was barely able to walk. Frequent bouts of breathlessness sent him to Mumbai and elsewhere for medical aid.
After exhausting their options in Mumbai, Thakur's family decided to go to the Fortis Malar hospital in Chennai, where his name was put on a waiting list for organ donation. Thakur and his relatives lived in a rented room for 10 months, waiting for a match. Finally, they received the news that the required organs were available from a 20-year-old brain dead accident victim in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur.
Two months after the surgery, Thakur returned to Amalner to resume a completely normal life. "Three months after he returned home, Thakur came to Chennai for a follow up, and we found that he was doing very well. But later I came to know that he had gone to some place and did not take immunosuppressive drugs for those 10 days. Gradually, he developed a problem in his lungs," said Dr KR Balakrishnan, director of cardiac sciences at the Hospital.
"A transplant patient needs to take medicines to suppress the immune system and fight off rejection the entire life. This is a very unfortunate incident. I am in touch with the family," added Balakrishnan.
The life-saving transplant had changed Thakur's life completely. He had gained 8kg and did not suffer from breathlessness any more. His uncle Tushar Thakur, however, said, "In the last two months, he had developed the problem of breathlessness again. The problem became so severe that while on way to Chennai, we were forced to admit him to a Thane hospital. When he felt a little better, we decided to take him to Chennai. But none of the airlines allowed us to fly due to his serious condition. So we were planning to take an air ambulance when his condition worsened on Saturday and he died."
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