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Indian-origin surgeon keeps woman alive without organs for 6 days

In a path-breaking surgery of sorts, an Indian-origin surgeon in Canada has given a new lease of life to a young mother.

Dr Shafique Keshavjee, a thoracic surgeon saved Melissa Benoit’s life with what is said to be the world’s first radical procedure.

Melissa, 32, was born with cystic fibrosis and had developed a lung infection that spread throughout her body.

Dr Keshavjee in Canada
Dr Keshavjee and his 13-member team kept Melissa alive just by the help of technology. Photo courtesy: UHN

While explaining her condition and the treatment she was given, Dr Keshavjee says that “It was the only option. For the first time ever, we had a patient in our intensive care with no lungs. In fact, she technically was on an artificial lung, an artificial heart and an artificial kidney for six days."

Dr Keshavjee and his 13-member team kept Melissa alive just by the help of technology that oxygenated and circulated her blood until donor organs were made available.

Melissa is back home now and grateful to the doctor who gave her a new life. "I never thought I would be able to walk. And here, I am walking," she said.

The report on the case is being published in the latest issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Deepti Kaul
Deepti Kaul – Senior Writer

Deepti Kaul has over a decade’s experience in journalism. She has worked with media giants like Hindustan Times, NDTV, India Today, IndiaTV and as a freelancer. She loves to write on Indians abroad, fashion, lifestyle,food, travel, showbiz, education, parenting while meeting people and experiencing different cultures.