I’m Laximidhar and I have suffered from a heart problem for a long time. One of my relatives suggested meeting Dr. Raja Sekhara Rao, Heart transplant surgeon in Hyderabad. I came from Orissa to meet him and diagnosis tests, he said that I need to undergo bypass surgery. A few years back he operated me for Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass (OPCAB) and I’m doing very well with my health.
I am A. Srinivasulu, of age 39yrs and I have been suffering from heart problem from the last four years. I met Dr. Rajasekhar Rao, heart surgeon and he said heart transplantation is the only option left. On 25th February at Care Hospitals Dr. Rajasekara Rao successfully transplanted a new heart. Its been 15days since the heart transplantation and I’m perfectly alright and recovering fastly.
I Jai Simha M.L, born August 7th 1959, my sixty years of age can split my span into two halves of thirty years each. One that is of early age and one that of youth. August is a landmark month for me in both halves.
A few lines about myself in a nutshell, I have been an outdoors, physical, outgoing, robust, rugged kind of person all my earlier age. I had a lot of physical activities right from my childhood, playing kho-kho, cricket, kabaddi, swimming and later on upgraded to Athletics, Horse riding, cross country trekking, rock climbing and gym hopping. I have always been different from my peer group, either in sports or in studies, all of which I trained myself to levels of proficiency.
One single vacation after school, to Dehradun Military Academy, where my uncle was commandant, where I experienced the charm and discipline of the army and military. It drew me like a magnet .so when I joined college I took active participation in NCC and passed ‘ C’ certificate, declared as the best cadet and attended various army camps and parades for five years. This made my perspective on life has changed. I realised fitness is the key for life, and have been conscious about it all along.
I take pride in saying that I am an independent, strong-willed, determined, easy-going person and never allowed negativity to pierce my positivity. I also took pride in my appearance, presenting myself and command + fluency in speech, chose a challenging sales and marketing career, which gave me a good life too.
Four decades ago, when I started my career, laptops, expensive offices, mobile phones, the internet was ‘space-age’.so it involved a lot of travel and one to one interaction to market products. Being a graduate in chemistry and biology, I chose chemicals and pharmaceuticals as a category of products for my marketing. I was in the local market initially, then a region, and then national level by which time I reached middle management.
That wasn’t enough for me. My sights were ‘international’, and ‘overseas’ marketing and I set my goal to qualify suitably for it .so, ten years after graduation I acquired an MBA, and two years later I Mastered in International marketing and business, found a foothold in the world-famous pharmaceutical industry of Hyderabad, with a position of Regional manager S.E.Asia and
Later on, there was no stopping me. I climbed the rungs of my career to be a VP and Director with 2 of the large European generic drug producers and marketing Globally. I heard somewhere ‘Just because someone carries it, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy’. So was my massive and relentless chase to the top in my career, rife with challenges, competition, and internal politics. It didn’t deter me in any way, as my mind is my boss. I should mention here that I am rock hard and steady in mind, and butter-soft from the outside, so to say. I was different from others; I found out again. All went well thus far.
My first thirty years ended with a bombshell dropping down on me. I was down with an unstoppable heavy cough, losing weight, blood in sputum for weeks on end and was diagnosed with TB with COX medication, but found no response to it .’ What’s a medicine that doesn’t cure, and what’s a poison that doesn’t kill.’ So was my situation. Catch 22. After seeing most results being inclusive, and seeing my plight, a childhood friend forcefully took to Shirdi Saibaba temple, which was a change of mind for me towards the supreme soul god almighty. Because I was an Atheist for my first thirty years of life. And ever since been a devout devotee of Baba. Out of hunch, my family doctor referred me to Tata institute Mumbai and was declared to be having a non-Hodgkins lymphoma on 15th of August after a quick biopsy. So August is a landmark month for me, and new birth date, a second one, entered my records. I was immediately put on chemotherapy with DOXORUBICIN as the leader of the pack of medicines and immediately followed by radiation therapy in the mediastinal region, knocking off part of my lung and heart, underwent third-degree treatment for a year .on follow up, after five years I was declared to be having Drug-induced cardiomyopathy. At risk of taking general anaesthesia, with it, I landed up with a side effect of HF as I understood now. One doctor found a palpable node in the armpit after five years of chemo when 6 others didn’t. As a benefit of the doubt, they wanted a biopsy done on it under local, which they were against as it was a deep-seated node. I forced the team to do the biopsy under domestic and to their utter shock that, I was so adamant and headstrong. I told them to go ahead as the pain was mine; the body was mine, and so was the node. To the relief of all, the result of the biopsy was negative. I realised again that I am different. My pace of recovery has been fast but was discouraged by my folks to take up any travelling job. But I couldn’t miss the marketing job, and immediately landed with a new sales job after being out of circulation for a year. One of the doctors I befriended, says that seventy per cent of my recovery is by my mind and thirty percent is the medicine. I am a mind fellow another friend said, and made of perseverance, grit, determination and positive attitude.
Though being diagnosed with early stages of Cardiomyopathy five years post Chemo, I never bothered to know what it was. It was my mistake to ignore it then. I always choose to do things as I see fit.
In retrospect, I remember the famous song of Frank Sinatra that says ” I did it my way.”
Twenty years post-chemo, it showed its monstrous face in the form of Congestive heart failure and ever since been visiting the cardiologists. That was ten years ago, the last decade of the second half of the span. That didn’t stop me in anyways, was aggressively
Travelling overseas, eating and drinking assorted stuff in the twenty-seven countries I visited for business and very regular with my work out where ever I was. Old habits die hard, as we say. But three years ago all of it and my HF took a downward turn, to the point of deterioration of my heart so severely that I was implanted with a CRT-D, again due to my stubbornness, and to the reluctance of the cardiology EP team. It did show some positive response on my heart for a while, but the downtrend was unabated. The CHF package that landed in my lap opened a pandora’s box of unsurmountable, ugly and unbearable side effects such as, frequent pleural effusions and numerous hospitalisations because of it, spike in uric acid leading to recurrent gout episodes, varicose veins, severe SOB, excruciatingly painful muscle cramps for years on end, and more medicines to kill the side effects of the side effects, and its side effects endlessly, all of which I bore calmly. Many medications didn’t get along with me. That’s when my hope to live a healthy life hereafter went out of the window. It is said that when hopes and patience reach its end, often God smiles upon you and says ” Relax sweetheart, it’s a bend and not the end”. Just the same happened to me in the real sense, and my life started looking skywards.
This is how… and when…
As a last and final resort, my Physician gave me to understand that only a heart transplant will rescue me and give me a new lease of life. Though I was not serious about it for 6 months, then as the fate and destiny would have it, I gave a very serious thought and said to myself ” why not, what’s there to lose now ”to have a HT.
It was sheer providence on that remarkable day when I met my physician in OPD, who suggested that I consult with a world-renowned HT genius, who incidentally is in Hyderabad. That day… became the turning point of my life, when I heard him speak with such confidence and authority on the simplicity of operation, and the future benefits package it has, to make me a new person, younger, healthier so on & so forth.
That day, 3rd JUNE Tuesday 2019 was memorable when I decided to give it a try and set my mind on it thinking positively it will and should work for me, thus setting the ball rolling. The ordeal began for me with a battery of screening tests which lasted a whole good month.
Simultaneously the process of registration began alongside by you all, and the hunt started for a Donor who would fit the bill, but filled with many obstacles along the way, I must say.
Finally, I was assured as god smiled and did send me a gift, in the form of inspirational surgeons, in the form of a donor with a great heart, and all my troubles stood still.
On a cloudy morning of 28th Aug 2019, the sun shone inside me with everything went like clockwork and my heart replaced. August is a landmark month for me. This day is the third birthdate in my life, hopefully, the last one.
Now I am eagerly looking forward to my next season of thirty years, and how wonderful it would be.
I have finally learnt in life -”never give up’ either in health, career, or sport, once the mind is set. As someone said ” Its mind over matter, and if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.”
Its nine weeks since my new season of my “version 2 “has begun after my ” Heart Transplantation ” literally and virtually, I am feeling already ten years younger in body, mind and soul. Will fly here on, because I think I can. Talking about the price I paid for the change of heart, it’s just a minuscule of what I got in return -A new life, and a new persona.
Some have belief in their faith, and some who have faith in their belief, whereas I am different, in having belief in my faith as well as faith in my belief.
CLOSING WITH WORDS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA ” ITS ALL WITHIN YOU. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
And BABA’s saying “WHY FEAR WHEN I AM HERE.”
11th Nov 2019
Last word, it would be naive on my part if I didn’t acknowledge all the support from the people who have dedicatedly been close to my heart and instrumental in bringing about a ” version 2 ” of myself.
First and foremost -My ever blessing Lord SaiBaba from whom I draw my strength.
My WONDERFUL Family’s unflinching faith, confidence in me, also gives me mighty strength.
And the Doctors…
Dr. Sastry – My physician, master of hearts, mentor, custodian, saviour of my ailing heart for more than seven years, without whom and his belief in my will power wouldn’t have brought about my change of heart, to brave the ultimate surgery of my life and have a successful transplant to give me a new experience. He has been the most patient person, keeping his calm and composure, never out of track despite my nonsensical, inquisitive questioning and casualness & ever-present to me always & reply to me even on the phone.
Dr.Balakrishnan, THE person who inspired me so much that I couldn’t wait any longer to visualise myself as a new ” ME” and desired the procedure done yesterday on the very day I met him.
Dr.Rajasekhar, for being a ”Doctor in need is a doctor indeed”, for the actual change of heart in me come true.
Dr.Praneet and Dr.Ashutosh who vibed well with me and who always gave me a thumbs up for my efforts and accomplishments in health. We share a mutual motivational bond in a very very friendly ambience and an open heart, heart to heart chat. Gives me a feeling of Euphoria and warmth with them around.
Dr.Narasimham, Dr.Daljit Kaur who gave a boost, together with Dr.Ashutosh, to my already ebbing and waning heart, with a CRT-D implant.
Salma needs a special mention here. She has been the keeper of my heart, since the time I first had a six-minute walk test seven years ago and have been walking the talk since. Now, it’s her very strong and devoted work ethic, her knowledge of the subject and PR skills, make my smiling heart bloom. I will proudly say -she is family, my daughter. I have been extremely helpful in my dire times during the last few months.
Selvin, a perfect soul, always available and accommodated me with his amicable nature.
Dr.Murali, a very practical man in every sense and a cool one, answers all my queries with ease and pleasure. He has been very pleasant and helpful in conservation about the do’s and don’ts about the post-op things. I gel well with him and vice-versa.
I also wish to thank the following doctors who played a very important role in my treatment and treating me like they have no other patients around.
Treated me like a king, with special attention towards me which made me always wonder, why this special treatment to me?? Maybe it’s the culture at your hospital, I realised.
They are : Babu,Anjani,Shruti,Bawaji Naveed,Abhishek,Sabiha,Anand,Chandramukhi,Bhanu,Vijayalaxmi,R.Aggarwal,Vishal,Jugal kishore,Vidyasagar,Kulkarni,UshaRani, and more..
The nursing staff who treated me like a long lost uncle are Anju, Lini, Christina, Shruti, Priya, Anu, Ujjwala, Renu & Brothers Shanker, Jai Kumar, beerappa, Beerappa and numerous others during my pre-op days.
From all of you, I repeat from all of you. I learnt a thing or two about heart care and Cardiology per se.
God bless you all, and god bless care hospitals to reach its glory in Cardiology.
Dr. Raja Sekhar Rao performed Heart Transplantation for Mrs Adilaxmi. It’s been a year and she is very healthy and happy now as she recovered completely.