A change of heart: inside a cardiac transplant — despair, doctor, donor, and a new life

Bhikaji Nirgun (on wheelchair), who underwent a heart transplant with Pravin Kulkarni (extreme left), the lead heart transplant surgeon at Jupiter Hospital, Thane.


The success of a heart transplant hinges on several factors working in sync. While the deft hands of the surgeons racing against time and state-of-the-art facilities are pre-requisites, many other critical factors are beyond human control. In comparison to these, the hurdle of financial affordability appears rather mundane.

All through August and September, Pravin Kulkarni’s days swung between despair and delight. Visibly relieved now, he takes out his phone and shows a short video of a pulsating heart –- the one of Bhikaji Nirgun, who had a thin chance of survival when he was referred to Kulkarni. As a lead transplant surgeon, Kulkarni took up the challenge to carry out a heart transplant on Nirgun. Nirgun, a 39-year-old from Kudal, a remote town in the Konkan

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