The Russian boy was diagnosed with fibrosing alveolitis when he was just two months old and was put on ventilator as his oxygen saturation was extremely low.
“He then underwent tracheostomy at the age of six months in Russia and was airlifted to our unit in Chennai in 2018 for further management and a possible lung transplant referred by the doctors in Russia,” K.R. Balakrishnan, Chairman & Director of Cardiac Sciences and Director of the Heart and Lung Transplant Programme, told reporters here.
The boy was kept on a ventilator here for three years, till a suitable organ donor was found.
A two-year-old brain dead donor became available in December 2020 in Surat, Gujarat and the organ was airlifted and the Russian boy underwent bilateral lung transplantation at MGM Healthcare in December 2020.
“We kept him under observation in ICU (intensive care unit) care and are happy to report that the newly-transplanted lungs are responding well in the patient. This is one of the longest duration for a small child to be kept on ventilator before undergoing a successful transplant in the world and is the youngest lung transplant in India and one of the youngest in Asia,” said Suresh Rao K.G., Co-Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation Programme & Mechanical Circulatory Support.
According to the doctors, the major challenge was finding a small lung suitable for the baby boy.