Born In India, Now In Pakistan: Indian Heart Gives Pak Teen New Life

The surgeons and the hospital - Chennai's MGM Healthcare - performed the procedure free, thanks to a city-based medical trust.

Ayesha Rashan is 19 years old.


An Indian heart has given new life to a young woman from Karachi in Pakistan, and her family, after a transplant surgery at Chennai's MGM Healthcare. And that is only half of this remarkable story; the surgeons, and the hospital, performed the procedure free, thanks to the city-based Aishwaryan Trust.

19-year-old Ayesha Rashan, the transplant recipient, wants to study fashion design. Her family said they could not have afforded the operation without the support of the trust and the Chennai doctors.

"I feel good after the transplant," Ms Rashan told NDTV as her mother thanked the doctors, the hospital, and the medical trust. Ms Rashan's condition is stable, and she can return to Pakistan.

According to the doctors, Ms Rashan was admitted with severe heart dysfunction.

Following heart failure, she was put on ECMO, which is a form of life support for people with life-threatening illness or injury that affects the function of their heart or lungs.

However, her heart pump then developed a leak in a valve, necessitating a full heart transplant.

A heart transplant can cost over Rs 35 lakh. In Ms Rashan's case, this bill was covered by the doctors and the trust.

indian heart pakistan girl transplant

Ayesha and her mother after the surgery.

The donor heart came from Delhi, and the young girl was lucky, Dr KR Balakrishnan, Director (Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant), and Dr Suresh Rao (Co-Director (Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant), told NDTV.

They said Ms Rashan received the heart rapidly since there were no competing claims as otherwise a foreigner can't get an organ.

"She is like my daughter... every life matters," the doctors said, underlining Chennai's status as the "capital of organ donation and transplant surgery".

Tamil Nadu leads in organ donation and transplants, thanks to pro active initiatives decades ago.

The doctors also made an appeal to the government for a better policy as in other states they say several viable donated  organs were being discarded because of the high cost of transplant surgery, which cannot be afforded by most people in the country.