June 2014

A gift of life

Hvovi Minocherhomji participating in the one-month Transplant Coordinators’ Training Programme at MOHAN Foundation, Chennai.

Hvovi  Minocherhomji, a 21-year-old B.Com student from Mumbai, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently. As her disease was in an advanced stage and beyond help of medical therapy, she was advised to undergo a heart transplant. At the recommendation of treating specialists at Mumbai, she registered herself in May 2014 for a heart transplant at Chennai under the Tamil Nadu Network for Organ Sharing (TNOS).

Finally in June 2014, Hvovi’s doctors were alerted by the team manning Tamil Nadu’s Cadaver Transplant Program (CTP) that a matching donor heart had become available. The mother of a 27-year-old man who had tragically met with a road traffic accident in Chennai city, had been counselled by Transplant Coordinators trained at MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) Foundation, and readily consented to donate his vital organs.

A medical team retrieved the heart from Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai and was to transport it to Fortis Malar Hospital in Adyar, Chennai where Hvovi was admitted. Though both hospitals are approximately 12 kilometers apart, the road connecting the two is a key arterial road, usually carrying heavy traffic, taking about 45 minutes to cover the distance. While a human heart can be preserved for up to 4 hours, chances of the recipient’s survival are higher if the transplant takes place early. With the support and cooperation of the city’s traffic police, a “green corridor” (i.e., red-lightfree access) was created to transport the vital organ across 16 traffic signals through Kamaraj Salai, and the ambulance completed the journey in under 14 minutes!

Hvovi is now living a healthy and active life. Following her experience, she has enrolled for a one-month Transplant Coordinators’ Training Program at MOHAN Foundation, Chennai and hopes to work towards advocacy of deceased organ donation and if possible, establish a branch of MOHAN Foundation in her home town of Mumbai. Both she and her parents are now passionate advocates for the cause of deceased organ donation in giving a new lease of life to many others like her.

MOHAN Foundation has been supported by the Trusts since December 2009, for the “Transplant Coordinator’s Training Program”. Since inception, MOHAN foundation has trained 753 persons as Transplant Coordinators, who have further assisted in retrieving 3,320 organs and tissues from deceased donors, leading to potentially saving an equivalent number of lives.