In a rare medical feat, doctors at BLK Super Speciality Hospital performed an open heart bypass surgery on 96-year-old J C Mehta, author of the popular “Remembering Our Leaders” series and “Read Aloud Stories” books for children.
According to doctors, Mehta was perhaps one of the oldest persons in the country to have undergone open heart bypass surgery.
Mehta, former Director of Delhi Public Library, was admitted to the hospital after he complained of severe chest pain and suffered a major heart attack.
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Doctors found that he had blockage of the left main artery of the heart, which was a serious situation.
“The kind of blockage that he had in the arteries had put him at risk for a second heart attack which he was unlikely to survive. The treatment for this kind of blockage is open heart bypass surgery only, which at his age was considered very risky,” said Dr Sushant Srivastava, Sr Consultant and Director, cardiothoracic and vascular Surgery, BLK Heart Centre.
It was difficult for the family also to make up their mind on the surgery but finally his four daughters agreed to opt for an open heart bypass surgery.
Doctors say that this was a high risk surgery because of Mehta’s age, fragile tissue, diseased arteries and weak lungs.
“With meticulous precision and latest technique, bypass was done on the beating heart. The first few post operative days in the ICU were tense. Very slowly the heart started pumping better and gradually life supporting systems were removed. After a couple of days he had recovered enough to sit in a chair and walk with support,” said Dr Srivastava.
Mehta, who continued his association with books even after retirement, is eager to go home and begin life afresh.
“We are happy to see him endure this momentary crisis,” informed his grandson, working with an international airline.
Mehta is an avid writer and has penned books for Children’s Book Trust.