A nine-year-old Covid survivor suffering from heart dysfunction due to dilated cardiomyopathy, probably because of Covid infection last year, has got a new lease on life after a successful heart transplant at Masina Heart Institute.
The doctors said the girl, Aiman Shaikh, a resident of Mumbra, was suffering from breathlessness for over a year, which required multiple admissions for breathing difficulty and loss of consciousness. Further investigations revealed severe dysfunction, suspected to have emerged after Covid-19 infection last year.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a type of heart muscle disease that causes the heart chambers (ventricles) to stretch, consequently making them thin and larger. It typically starts in the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) and makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.
A doctor said that as Amina’s condition deteriorated, she was advised a heart transplant and listed on the national list from Masina Heart Institute. After waiting for six months, she got a suitable donor, a brain dead patient from Vadodara.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Zainulabedin Hamdulay said the five-hour surgery was performed on May 25, followed by post-operative management in the hospital’s ICU for nearly 10 days out of the total 20 days. “The young patient made a complete recovery and was put off the ventilator on the second day itself. Many kids with heart transplants live a normal, healthy life once they recover,” she said.
Amina’s father, Mohammed Hanif Shaikh, said she had breathing problems after the Covid infection in May last year but was treated for acidity. “After her diagnosis, her condition kept deteriorating. Needing a heart, she was on the waitlist for a long time. Luckily, our prayers were heard,” he said.
Dr Vishal Pingle, the heart and lung transplant surgeon said, “Lung infection after Covid is well known. Clinicians should be aware of Covid-related myocarditis, too, and assess the patients for these complications as well so that we can identify and treat heart failure in early stages.”