By Srinath Prasanna Jayasuriya,
Chamal Rupasinghe and J.A.L. Jayasinghe
The second heart transplant surgery in Sri Lanka was performed successfully at the Kandy General Hospital recently.
Sachini Sewwandi (Whose heart transplant was a success)
Senevirathna Banda, the father of the brain dead youth, is a retired Police Inspector. He has done a great meritorious deed by giving permission to use his deceased son’s organs to save the lives of four others
Sachini Sewwandi of Aluthgama, aged 18, was facing an impending death due to a malfunctioning heart. But she was fortunate to receive a new heart from a 21-year-old youth. This youth was proclaimed brain-dead and was attended to by medical staff at the intensive care unit of the same hospital.
The Coordinator and the Head of the Collecting Unit Dr. Aruna Abeysinghe said the transplant surgery was a successes. The Collecting Unit was etablished at the hospital to receive organs from patients who are proclaimed brain death.
The patronage extended by the Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne helped immensely in making this operation a success. The minister had promised all support and facilities needed for the operation during he a discussion he had with specialist doctors
According to Dr.Abeysinghe the pancreas and the two kidneys of the deceased youth were also removed and secured for future transplant operations of three other patients.
The youth whose organs were secured after his demise was Nalin Bandara Sakalasuriya (28), a bachelor from Kapuliyadda, Thalathuoya.
Nalin Bandara (Whose heart was used for the transplant operation)
The first heart transplant surgery was performed on 07 July at the Kandy Hospital. Both these operations were performed by a team of doctors led by Cardiothoracic Specialist Dr. Anil Abewickrema of the Kandy Hospital.
Sewwandi’s heart functioned only ten percent. When she was subjected to diagnosis the doctors decided that only a heart transplant could save her life.
Sachini’s family has had a history of heart disease. Her elder sister died of a heart disease about five years ago.
On an earlier occasion Sachini was scheduled to undergo surgery for a heart transplant where the heart was to be obtained from an army officer who was proclaimed to be brain dead. However, since it was a controversial issue plans for the operation were shelved.
The patronage extended by the Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne helped immensely in making this operation a success. The minister had promised all support and facilities needed for the operation during he a discussion he had with specialist doctors.
Dr. Aruna Abeysinghe had received great assistance from heart surgery specialist Muditha Lansakara during the heart transplant done on September 27 (Wednesday) .
Anesthetists Dr.Jagath Perera, Dr. Aruni Jayasekera, and Dr. Priyantha Disanayaka together with kidney transplant surgery specialist Dr. P.K. Harischandra had all chipped into make the transplant surgery a success.
Director Kandy General Hospital Dr. Saman Rathnayaka, the doctors of the Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit, nursing staff and relevant other employees also extended their assistance during the surgery.
Senevirathna Banda, the father of the brain dead youth, is a retired Police Inspector. He has done a great meritorious deed by giving permission to use his deceased son’s organs to save the lives of four others. This was revealed by Dr. Abeysinghe.
“ I retired from the police about 12 years ago. I have four sons and two daughters. My son Nalin Bandara met with an accident while riding his motorcycle and was receiving medical treatment at the neuro intensive care unit of the Kandy General Hospital. Doctors told me it wasn’t possible for him to live as his brain was dead. They asked about my willingness to donate the important organs of my son to use in transplant surgeries. All my family members and I conveyed our willingness to donate our son’s organs. Now we are happy as four others are fortunate to live due to this donation. It is some consolation for our sadness,” said Senevirathna.
He also appealed to the people to donate the organs of persons who are proclaimed brain dead so as to help other patients survive. He said that those who do so will be be blessed and receive merits.