Miracles Do Happen

Komal Pawar


Heart and Double Lung Transplant recipient playing basketball and participating in marathons

Till the age of 26, Komal would describe herself as an avid basketball player, an engineering graduate and a beauty pageant participant. However, something happened that year, which changed her life forever.

In September 2016, just a few months into her marriage, Komal was diagnosed with advanced Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) and Right Ventricular dysfunction (heart failure). The condition of PPH was exerting pressure on her lungs and straining her heart, leading to failure of her heart and lungs, as her lungs filled up with fluids. Soon, she could hardly talk and required roughly 8 litres of oxygen daily.

Komal had to be put on artificial oxygen and her movements became restricted. She became bedridden and was in an extremely fragile state, with severe breathlessness. Just to keep her spirits up, her husband, Dhiraj would often take her out on drives, with the oxygen tank lugging behind her. At the back of his mind, he knew that time was running out for them. He would frequently wake up at night just to check if Komal was still breathing; such was the hopelessness of the situation.

Their desperate search for treatment took them from Satara (Maharashtra) to Chennai, Gleneagles Global Hospitals. The doctors were treating her for heart failure, but her condition worsened rapidly and very soon, she was suggested a heart and bilateral lung transplant.

This was an extremely expensive procedure and all their savings were depleted due to the previous hospitalisations and treatments. Dhiraj ended up raising funds through crowdfunding, by appealing to their family and friends to open up their hearts to save their Komal. Now it was a matter of wait – to get the life-saving organs that would save Komal.

One fine day, after a few weeks, the time finally came. Somewhere in Madurai, a family, in their moments of utmost grief, opened their hearts and decided to donate the organs of their deceased loved one, so that a few others may be saved. Komal learnt that the donor was a good match and that the vital organs would be airlifted to reach her.

On 28th May 2017, Komal received the gift of life. Komal is the first woman in India to successfully receive a heart and bilateral lung transplant.

Her success story has been a result of a combination of her will power, her husband’s determination and love for her and above all, her doctor’s grit to take up her case as a challenge, when no one else was willing to.

The recovery road was not easy, with long-term, frequent follow-up investigations and consultations, and immunosuppressant medications. Komal and her family rose to the challenge.

Today, Komal is back to playing basketball, participating in marathons and occasionally indulges in adventure sports like parasailing. As her way of expressing gratitude to her donor, her doctors, family and well-wishers, she, along with her husband, decided to work for furthering the cause of organ donation and they help organ failure patients by counselling them and providing them medical assistance, through their initiative, ‘Komal New Life Foundation’.

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.