The heart of a brain-dead patient in KIMS Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram was taken to a patient in Kochi’s Lisie Hospital by a team of doctors, with the help of the police.

Doctors and police carry organ to helicopter
news Organ donation Saturday, May 09, 2020 - 20:50

For the first time in Kerala, a helicopter provided by the government was used to transport an organ needed for a transplantation surgery, from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi on Saturday.

The heart of a brain-dead patient in KIMS Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram was taken to a patient in Kochi’s Lisie Hospital by a team of doctors, with the help of the police.

Five doctors led by Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram, Head of Cardiac Surgery at the Lisie Hospital in Kochi, came by road to Thiruvananthapuram a little after 10 am. The surgery on the donor began at 12.30 pm. Two hours later, the surgery was over.

The heart donor was a 50-year-old teacher from Chempazhanthy, called Lali Gopakumar, who was suffering from aneurysm and had cerebral bleeding. Her family informed on Friday that they are willing to donate her organs on Friday. “At the time, the patient in Lisie was in consultation with the doctor and she was informed of the development. She agreed to go through the transplantation on Sunday at 4 pm,” said a source at the Lisie Hospital.


Lali Gopakumar

The recipient, a 49-year-old woman from Kothamangalam, who has been a heart patient for a year. “It is three months ago that she came to Lisie Hospital and the doctors suggested transplantation,” the source said. The request was registered on the Kerala Network of Organ Sharing under the Mrithasanjeevani programme, which facilitates the donation of cadaver organs, conducted by the government with the participation of the private sector.

“When it became known that the organ was available, the biggest problem was transportation during the lockdown. Father Paul Karedan, the director of Lisie Hospital spoke to former MP of Ernakulam P Rajeev, who in turn spoke to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The CM gave directions to the police to help with the helicopter transport. Hotel Grand Hyatt in Kochi allowed for the landing. The doctors reached back on time to start the surgery in Lisie at 4,” the source said. As we speak, the surgery is still going on.

Lali Gopakumar, the donor, ended up donating five of her organs including her heart, kidneys and eyes. This is the fifth organ donation that happens in Kerala after the COVID-19 lockdown began.

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