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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 274-275

It's the life in your years that counts

Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation, Heart Transplant Recipient, Currently Associated with Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication23-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Preeti Unhale
Organ Donation and Organ Retrieval Organization, Heart Transplant Recipient, Currently Associated with Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-5414.177268

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How to cite this article:
Unhale P. It's the life in your years that counts. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2015;1:274-5

How to cite this URL:
Unhale P. It's the life in your years that counts. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jan 26];1:274-5. Available from: https://www.j-pcs.org/text.asp?2015/1/3/274/177268

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

-Abraham Lincoln.

Heartfelt is the story of Medha Anup Jalota, Anup Jalota's wife, her story from the diagnosis of heart disease to being advised to go for a heart transplant to the USA, and finally getting a heart transplant in New York after many centers had refused. It is a story of struggle through life's problems as well as a celebration of life as Medha never let her problems pull her down and as she bounced back from each medical problem.

Even while living in an era of super advanced medical technologies, India continues to fight battles in the arena of organ transplants. It is important to shed light on how far India has come in successfully and efficiently, giving a gift of life to many across the country.

However, sadly, the myth still lingers among us that things such as heart transplants have a very low success rate in India and they are better done abroad.

Quoting the case of late Medha Jalota who got her heart transplant in the USA in the year 2001, the same time I got my heart transplant successfully done at AIIMS, New Delhi.

Prior to the transplant, life had no determinate meaning, but now all my actions are driven by the sole motive of living each moment to the fullest, its like, I am more than alive. I have traveled abroad to Europe and came back rejoiced and healthy, all thanks to a healthy heart. When doctors suggested a transplant as the only choice, I was more hopeful rather than anxious and that hope is what has helped me come a long way in the journey of life.

The countries abroad give obvious priorities to their citizens, and patients from other countries are often left waitlisted for long, when Medha got her heart transplanted in the USA, her doctors strictly advised her to stay there and not return to India, given they did not want to waste a heart if something were to happen to her while in India.

We continue to live in denial of the fact that institutes such as AIIMS are capable of providing us with equally efficient medical facilities at a much lower cost and it is within the reach of any common citizen. The number of organ donations in our country has also dramatically shot up in the past decade, all thanks to the dedicated work of organizations such as ORBO and MOHAN Foundation. I see myself as a living example of how beautifully doctors can deliver the gift of organs to any person in need and bless him/her with a new life wrapped up in hope, absolutely in your reach, and with your available resources. You do not need to look up to big brand hospitals, which leave you bankrupt. Organ transplants have now become an art which India is fast mastering.

Preeti Unhale (Heart Transplant Recipient).

(I was 3, when Preeti Maasi got her heart transplant, I remember the initial years to be bit chaotic, everything was new, the complications and precautions. However, now after 15 lovely years, heart transplant no more occurs to me as a distant, vague term, it feels as common as a cold or flu, something which can happen to anyone and when dealt with proper hands can be accurately treated. However, to many, it is still surprising that she was treated in India, and she is not merely healthy, but I am glad to say, also happy, and contend with her new life.)

-Mahima Singh.

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There are no conflicts of interest.


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