This Saudi from Al-Ahsa has got everything right, literally! From a heart on the right side , to landing a government job of his choice and then settling down to a happy married life.
Jawad Salman Al-Shayeb has had a fairytale run despite suffering from what is medically known as “dextrocardia ,” where the heart is on the right side instead of left.
Al-Shayeb revealed on Tuesday that he first came to know that his heart was on the right side when he was 24, when he appeared for a medical check-up at King Fahd Hospital in Hofouf in order to apply for a government job. The health official informed me of this surprising news,” he said.
The revelation that dextocardia is a rare occurrence made Al-Shayeb not only curious but also had him worried since he then felt it could affect his health and lead to premature death. Doctors, however, cleared away his doubts and worries after conducting necessary tests.
They told him it was just a change in creation and would not affect his health.
After landing a government job, Al-Shayeb wanted to get married and he informed his bride’s relatives about his peculiar heart location. The family agreed to the marriage when they saw medical reports confirming his good health.
Al-Shayeb is a social activist associated with various organizations, a local Arabic daily reported.
Dextrocardia occurs during the early weeks of pregnancy. “Sometimes, for reasons that are unclear, the heart develops and turns, so that it points to the right side of the chest instead of the left side,” said a website of the National Institute of Health in the US.
“This is a congenital condition and occurs once in every 56,000 live births,” said Dr. S.B. Dogra, a consultant cardiologist at Jeddah National Hospital. “If found in an adult it will be normal and there is nothing to worry,” she told Arab News. Dogra said she had seen a number of right-heart cases.
There are several types of dextrocardia with some of them having defects of the heart and abdomen area. The simplest type of dextrocardia is one where the heart is a mirror image of the normal heart, and no other problems exist. Often in this case, the organs of the abdomen and the lungs will also be arranged in a mirror image of their normal position.
“In the more common type of dextrocardia, heart defects are present in addition to the abnormal location of the heart,” the institute said. A very serious syndrome that appears with this condition is called heterotaxy wherein many organs will not be in their usual places and may not work properly, it added.