A 29-year-old man in Pune got a new lease of life after heart of a brain dead patient was flown from Ojhar airstrip near here to Pune, and successfully transplanted into the former’s body. The vital organ was flown from the Ojhar airstrip yesterday and it reached the recipient within 43 minutes, at Pune’s Rubi Hospital. Dr Bhausaheb More of city-based Hrishikesh Hospital, where Ashwin Zalke (38) was admitted, today said that the cadaveric donor met with a road accident on Tuesday and had received serious head injuries. Zalke was declared ‘brain dead’ on Wednesday. The doctors then sought permission from his wife and family, if they were ready to donate vital organs like heart, kidneys, lever, eyes, lungs, and skin, to which they readily agreed.
The heart was taken through the ‘green corridor’ from the hospital to Ojhar airstrip, traversing a distance of 30-km, from where it was flown to Pune at around 11.15 am, More said. The deceased’s family donated Zalke’s 13 organs, More said, adding that one kidney was sent to Pune via road and was donated to a needy patient there. Personnel of city and rural district police escorted the team of doctors while on their way to Ojhar airstrip.