Brain-Dead Muslim Farmer Keeps Hindu Man’s Heart Beating

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Asif Juneja

Ahmedabad/Rajkot: Till 47-year-old Arjan Ambaliya lives, he would be thanking this Muslim farmer and his family from Bhavnagar district from the bottom of his heart. The heart of brain dead Asif Juneja, a native of Sod Vadla village in Sihor taluka, has been transplanted in Ambaliya, thus giving this critically ill man a new life. Juneja’s heart was flown in a chartered flight from Bhavnagar, last month for the transplant done at an Ahmedabad-based private hospital. Moreover, this is the first heart transplant done in Gujarat. Juneja was critically injured after being hit by a speeding car while crossing the road on December 17. He was rushed to the civil hospital in Bhavnagar but declared brain dead on December 20. “We counselled Juneja’s family members to donate this vital organs and they readily agreed. Besides the heart, his two kidneys, liver and pancreas were also harvested for four other needy patients,” Dr. Rajendra Kabariya, neurosurgeon at the Bhavnagar-based charitable hospital, told TOI. Moreover, Juneja’s blood group was O negative (universal donor) and he was physically fit. Dr Dhiren Shah, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon in Ahmedabad Hospital, said that Ambaliya was admitted to a Jamnagar based hospital suffering from histamine cardiac disorder, a severe case of heart failure, and was kept on ventilator and balloon pump. “When we completely ran out of options to save his life, we got to know about the organs of this brain dead person in Bhavnagar,” Dr Shah said. “The heart was harvested from Bhavnagar at 8:20 am and brought through a chartered flight. A green corridor was made from Bhavnagar city to the airport and our hospital. The surgery that started at 9.30 am lasted for around four hours and the heart could be transplanted successfully,” he added.