Dr. Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi, the Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Heart Hospital and patient, Kiran Machado
Mr. Kiran Machado, a 39 year old Indian resident of Qatar, has come forward to praise and thank the staff at Heart Hospital, a member of Hamad Medical Corporation, for their clinical expertise and compassionate care. He wants the public to know that they saved his life.
Mr. Machado has lived in Qatar all his life, working in oil and gas industry and, more recently, in car sales and maintenance. In 2014, he initially had a clue that something was wrong with him – he had back ache, chest pains and a persistent cough. He sought medical advice at that time in private clinics, and in India but there was no diagnosis forthcoming, and he was also given some medication that exacerbated his symptoms which resulted in a stay at Heart Hospital for 10 days. After that things seemed to settle down a bit and he got on with his life - until August 2015.
Last August, Mr. Machado collapsed at home and then collapsed a second time while out with friends. His friends took him straight to Heart Hospital Emergency Department. When he arrived there, the clinical team did the initial assessment and told him that his potassium levels were very low, and that they needed to admit him to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was told he was experiencing heart failure – which was understandably a terrible shock.
“I was sure I was going to die. Even after I was discharged from the ICU and admitted to the ward I was constantly experiencing VT (ventricular tachycardia) attacks, which feels like extreme palpitations. I was really very sick,” explained Mr. Machado. “It was then that I had a consultation with Dr. Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi, the Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Heart Hospital. I actually knew him from a while ago as he performed bypass surgery on my father and I knew he was a great surgeon. He reviewed my case and told me he had a solution for me – a surgically inserted pump to help my heart to keep blood flowing around my body. He explained everything very clearly and carefully to me, and I knew that this was my best chance. In addition, Dr. Abdulaziz arranged for another patient who is living with one of these pumps to come and explain to me what it was like, which was very helpful.”
Dr. Al Khulaifi knew Mr. Machado quite well and, after examining him, he knew they needed to do this operation to save Mr. Machado’s life. “Kiran was really very sick when I went to see him – he had acute cardio-myopathy and his heart had stopped three or four times - we needed to find a solution to save his life. The Left Ventricle Assist Device was definitely the best option for him. The device is inserted in the heart and is connected to a power and management pack that is external to the body, by a tube that exits through the patient’s stomach. The LVAD does 95 percent of the heart’s work, drawing blood from one chamber and pushing it into the aorta to supply the body with blood. The type of LVAD that we use in Qatar is designed to stay in the body for life – providing a long-term solution for patients.
“We also inserted an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) into Kiran’s chest to regulate the heart’s rhythm, working in partnership with the LVAD.” He continued: “This is an extremely complicated surgery – in fact it is highly specialized and it is available in Qatar, at Heart Hospital. Kiran will need a few more months yet to recover and when he starts rehabilitation therapy he will see great improvements, but he is doing very well already and, God willing, can look forward to a happy and fulfilling life.”
Over the next few months, Mr. Machado will start his rehabilitation, once he has sufficiently recovered from the surgery, although he is very confident in his progress so far: “I am already managing most of my daily needs myself and I am getting used to carrying the LVAD device – it is part of my life now. I live on batteries! It does take some getting used to, but I am alive, and for that I am eternally grateful. During my stay in the Heart Hospital, which totaled almost four months, I got to know the team there very well and they were like family to me. They cared for me with compassion and even prayed for me when I was really sick. I really want to let people know how great Heart Hospital is and how each and every team member puts in an amazing effort every day to help their patients. I was actually sad to leave, as the hospital had become like a haven to me.”
“Now I am feeling so much better,” continued Mr. Machado, “Before the operation, I was so uncomfortable all the time – I couldn’t sleep and I found moving around very difficult. Now I can sleep properly, I’m comfortable and I can manage everything for myself. I am looking forward to even more improvements and I will continue to have monthly check-ups with my surgical team to check on my progress and ensure all is well. I would advise anyone who has heart problems to go to Heart Hospital – I don’t think I could have received better treatment anywhere else in the world. I really love this country and all it does to look after its residents.”
Heart Hospital announced that they are setting up a specialist Heart Failure team of a cardiologist, a surgeon and a physician that will be available for patients 24 hours, in a bid to continue to provide the safest, most effective and most compassionate care to patients.