Leading with Love
A Kashmiri heart surgeon, Dr Murtaza Chishti, has performed the maiden heart transplant surgery in Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Hospital (MGMCH) in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Under the supervision of Dr Chisti, it was the first surgery of its kind in BJP-ruled Rajasthan and was also praised by State’s Chief Minister Vasundra Raje and Health Minister Rajendra Rathore.
Talking over phone from Jaipur, Chisti expressed his gratitude to his team and hospital administration for achieving the feat.
“It couldn’t have been possible for me to do it alone without the support of my wonderful team and administration. Indeed, it was a big achievement in my medical career,” he said.
Chisti has served in Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Australia for three years and later joined Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi where he practiced for seven years.
Currently, working as the Chief consultant cardiac surgeon and Director of organ transplantation in Mahatma Gandhi University of Medical Sciences & Technology, Chisti said the operation was performed in almost five hours.
“Being the first operation of its kind, I had to do a lot of home work. I also went to United States for a month to get special training before performing the operation,” he said.
Chisti said they were able to harvest a heart from an 18 year-old resident of Sanganer after he was declared brain dead following a road accident.
“I am out of words for the generosity showed by the deceased family to agree to donate his organs. Their kindness saved people who otherwise had no hope of survival,” he said.
The family member of the deceased person donated two kidneys, liver and heart to four different people.
Chisti said the patient is making a good recovery and would be able to start his new life soon.
“We are monitoring his condition. As a doctor you can’t ask more to see your patient kicking and alive,” he said.
Chisti, who has done his MBBS and MS from Government Medical College Srinagar in 1981, said the dearth of infrastructure and lack of political will from successive J&K governments compelled him to move outside Kashmir to pursue his career.
After completing the degree, Chisti went to Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (SCTIMST) Kerala to pursue MCH and later moved to United States.
“I would have liked to serve in my own homeland rather than practice somewhere else but after I returned from US in 1993, Kashmir was in turmoil and there was no scope for growth,” he said.
Asked whether, he would return to the valley, Chisti, a resident of Baramulla district, outrightly rejected the idea, saying there was no infrastructure for doctors in the State to prove their caliber.
“I don’t see any hope of my return. There is still a lot that needs to be done by the government to lure the doctors, who are practicing across India and abroad, back to the Valley,” he added.