I-Day gift: Indian docs save life of Pakistani student

August 15th, 2008 - 12:50 pm ICT by IANS  

By Prashant K. Nanda
New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) At a time when tensions have flared up again between India and Pakistan, doctors in Delhi have saved the life of a young Pakistani engineering student by conducting a rare cardiac surgery. A team of 11 doctors and staff at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has repaired 20-year-old Tayyab Niaz’s mitral valve (that controls the blood flow between the upper and lower chamber of the heart) to save his life.

Doctors said the surgery was “rare, tedious and needs more patience”.

“Tayyab Niaz underwent heart treatment in Pakistan two years back but the mitral valve was ruptured during the medical procedure. Pakistani doctors referred him here and we successfully repaired the damage. Now he is fine and ready to go home,” said Sujay Shad, the lead surgeon who carried out the surgery.

“We carried out detailed tests and conducted an open heart surgery over a period of 90 minutes Aug 1. He was in a difficult condition and without this treatment he may have died in the near future. This is an Independence Day gift,” Shad told IANS.

Niaz, a mechanical engineering student in Multan, had developed a faster than normal heartbeat and underwent a procedure named radio frequency ablation at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Karachi, two years ago.

A catheter (small tube) had got stuck inside the heart during the radio frequency ablation and at the time of extraction of this catheter his mitral valve got severely damaged.

“Due to this damage, his heart started growing big, which means more weakness and less life span,” Shad explained.

He said Niaz had two options - either to get operated in Pakistan where surgeons would have changed his mitral valve or come to India and get the valve repaired.

A change in valve would have meant lifelong medication, more expenditure and staying away from games like cricket and football. Shad said as Niaz was a cricket enthusiast he could not have afforded a replacement.

B.K. Rao, a veteran doctor and chairman of the hospital, said: “Heart valve repair is a more complex operation; it takes more time and more effort. However, the results of a successful valve repair are gratifying.”

Shad, who had been working in Britain till 2005, said a successful repair of the valve needs only a month’s medication. The treatment cost Niaz, the son of a businessman, a little over Rs.180,000.

“He underwent a check-up Aug 14 and everything is progressing fine. We have advised him three weeks’ rest and four weeks’ medication. After that he can lead a normal life like you and me,” he said.

Terming it as an Independence Day gift, Shad said: “Though Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff is speaking against India, we don’t see any difference between Indians and Pakistanis.”

“All people need love, affection and proper medical treatment. I don’t think the common man in Pakistan has any problem with India.”

Niaz, the son of a businessman, said though he has some pain in his chest even now, he is feeling much better. The doctors, staff and the people of Delhi are very nice, he said.

“I am taking back goodwill from India. Common people never hate Indians. I think it’s the politicians who create the problem.”

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