For the first time in Kerala, the harvested heart of a brain-dead person was airlifted from a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram to another hospital in Kochi for transplant on Friday evening. Kochi is 200 km away from Thiruvananthapuram by road.
Following the Kerala government’s intervention, the Navy rushed its Dornier aircraft from Kochi naval base to Thiruvananthapuram airport with a medical team which wanted to harvest the heart from Neelakantan Sharma, who was declared brain-dead on Friday morning at Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology. Sharma, who was suffering from paralysis, had been undergoing treatment at the hospital since July 5.
The team, on reaching Thiruvananthapuram, was taken to the hospital. It returned to Kochi naval base with the harvested heart and took it to Lisie Hospital after police regulated traffic from the naval base to the hospital. The four-long process to transplant the organ to a patient named Mathews began around 8 pm.
(With pti inputs)