Every day Bookimed assists hundreds of people from all over the world. Every case is particular to us. So we are ready to do everything possible and impossible to help patients. We want to tell you the incredible story, an example of never giving up!
Igor Kravchenko, a Ukrainian sailor, cannot return to the sea anymore. But he will live. After 7 long years of pain and despair, this 46-aged calm lean man can breathe again after the heart and lung transplant.
In 2009, Odessa citizen Igor Kravchenko began to feel faint while walking. Then the local doctors could not establish the cause of his bad feeling. In 2014 Igor was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease (ILD) that affects the lung tissue. The condition reduces the human lung function and decreases the oxygen saturation of blood by 70%.
In September 2015, Igor stopped walking and was forced to sit in a wheelchair. Lung transplantation was the only way for a man, but in Ukraine, such an operation is prohibited. The complications of the disease reduced the chances of survival (under 5%). But the Ukrainian sailor did not give up.
In May 2016, Igor requested Bookimed via the internet. Medical Doctors of Bookimed find specialists in India willing to accept the patient. Igor chose Global Hospital in Chennai. "I went to India without expectation. I just wanted to find out if I will have a chance. But a real miracle happened to me. And my second life I will live much smarter," the sailor said.
After the arrival, Igor was very weak. Conducting the operation was impossible. A few days later his condition worsened.Igor was connected to the apparatus for artificial ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. During this time, his heart stopped 3 times.
"Most doctors of my team believed that I was spending too much energy and time on this patient. They did not believe in him. There were proposals to delete him from the waiting list of transplantation. The situation was complicated because of Igor's blood group (I positive) and his foreign citizenship. The transplant commission can give the organ to a foreign patient only if the citizen of India does not need it, " says Dr. Balakrishnan, the senior surgeon who conducted the operation. .
On June 3, the lungs were found in a 14-year-old donor. The team of Dr. Balakrishnan wanted to give them to another patient with higher chances for survival. Statistics and medical literature spoke in their favor.
"But I saw Igor's wife, how she cried. My emotions prevailed over science. I decided to provide a transplant," tells Dr. Balakrishnan.
During the operation and after it there were difficulties.
"Breathing muscles were too weak that Igor could not breathe himself. I had to make an orifice in the respiratory canal. Then there was a bronchial fistula, and the whole operation was under threat," says Dr. Rao, a cardiac anesthesiologist.
Hospital staff took a specialist from Coimbatore city to stent a fistula. "This was the first case of stenting a transplanted lung in India, and it worked," says Dr. Balakrishnan.
Learn more about transplantation in India
The operation was difficult. But thanks to the efforts of Indian specialists and the inexhaustible faith of Dr. Balakrishnan in his patient, the surgery was successful.
After the transplantation, Igor had 1.5 months of rehabilitation. During that time, Igor's breathing muscles became stronger, and he was cut off from the ventilator. Despite the problematic postoperative period and significant risks, the organs took root.
And later, when the sailor was informed that he was ready for discharge, he would eat ice cream, smile and said: "I’ve won."