‘Doctors need to be more humane’ says heart recipient doctor

On Thursday, it was a story telling treat for Puneites by doctors. As a scientific program seminar was arranged by Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) in Pune. A neuro-physician, who is himself a cadaver heart recipient, shared his story on how gratifying it was when he started his new life post-transplant. Doctors at the seminar narrated the story of first heart transplant in the city. Audience were thrilled when they saw and listened to how city’s first heart transplant took place.

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“Post-transplant, when I saw how non-medico staff was taking my care, I understood doctors need to be more human. Before transplant, i wanted to be best doctor in the city; I used to count money that I used to make out of my practice. But, transplant was a life changing moment. Experience that I have got through my illness has changed me into a more humane doctor,” said Dr Sunil Bandishti, 50 year-old neurophysician, from Pune.

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As per Dr Bandishti, heart transplant was a journey of self-discovery for him. He underwent heart transplant around ten months ago. He was suffering from cardiomyopathy – a disease that affects muscles of the heart, for the last three years.

Insert “It was not easy journey for me. Before leaving for the transplant I was not sure if I could see my house again. Fear of death, was worse than dying. But, post-transplant, when I see how my patients prayers and family’s support has helped me, I feel gratifying. When I was back in my clinic it was most gratifying moment,” he said.

He ran 3km marathon, three months post-transplant. “For movement of transplant, if I can be of any help, it will be my duty, honour and privilege to offer any contribution,” he said and the audience paid standing ovation to him.

Dr Manoj Durairaj, consultant cardiac surgeon, from Pune, while narrating about the first heart transplant in the city said, “Organ transplants are the best form of national integration. As a transplant surgeon we need to cross many hurdles and it is a sigh of relief once the transplants are done.”

He mentioned that a transplant surgeon has to face many unplanned things before undertaking the surgery. “For the first heart transplant, we were informed that a special charter plane would be taking the heart to Pune. But when I saw the plane, my heart sank in. The plane was very small and was flying so slow that i could still use my phone, he said.”