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And I know that my heart will go on and on

- Cardiac surgeons at GNRC Hospitals successfully implant a pacemaker in a 110-year-old man

Feb. 18: Haji Mokbul Ali must have definitely followed a healthy lifestyle to reach this ripe old age and will, maybe, touch wood, outlive the machine helping his heart beat normally.

The 110-year-old, who recently had a pacemaker implant at the GNRC Hospitals here after being rushed in from his hometown Hojai in Nagaon district following fainting bouts, has two simple ingredients in his recipe for a good, long life — an active lifestyle and a zest for life.

It’s not every day that doctors operate upon a patient this old but the centenarian has, since, allayed all their fears by showing good signs of recovery and has even started moving around. He was discharged from the hospital today.

On February 8, Ali was brought to the GNRC Hospitals, where he reportedly had a cardiac arrest while being wheeled into the casualty ward. On examination, doctors detected several blockades in his heart that had also resulted in damage to his brain and kidney. His pulse, too, was faint. That was when the doctors decided to implant the pacemaker to stem the damage.

“How many 100-year-olds do we come across in our lifetime? A pacemaker implant is a common procedure but an implant in the heart of a 110-year-old? Very rare…such cases definitely make it to even medical journals. The patient had suffered a cardiac arrest because of a blockade in his heart. This had also partially damaged his brain and kidney. An emergency temporary pacemaker was implanted on February 8 to stabilise his heart rate and brain functions,” said Dr J.P. Sarma, medical director of GNRC Hospitals.

“We sat for a consultation with neurologists and on February 11, when his condition was found to be stable, we successfully implanted the permanent pacemaker. He has shown remarkable improvement and has even started moving about. We are positive he will now be able to live without any heart complications,” Sarma said.

Ali’s eldest son Abdul Hamid, 65, was relieved to see his father regain good health.

“We are very relieved to see our father recover. He has always enjoyed a good life. Apart from the usual cold and fever, we have never seen him sick. Only after he turned 100, did he develop bronchitis and complained of chest pain. He also had difficulty breathing at times because of the bronchitis,” Hamid said.

“He has great zest for life and lives every moment to the fullest. All his life, he has always been a very active and hardworking man, capable of a lot of physical activity. Doctors here told us that he had more strength at this age than we have. Initially, we were a bit hesitant when we were informed that he required a surgery. But after speaking to doctors, I and my younger brother decided to give the go-ahead, as we want father to spend the remaining days of his life in good health, free from any kind of physical discomfort,” he added.

As for the expenses, the lower-than-expected bill came as a big relief for the family.

“For people like us, Rs 1 lakh is a lot of money. When doctors in Hojai referred our father to GNRC, we were frankly worried, as we had heard that the hospital was expensive. But our fears turned out to be unfounded, as the surgery expense, along with the pacemaker, was lower than that figure. The overall bill, however, was around Rs 1.5 lakh as it included cabin charges, food and medicine, among others. The doctors, too, were prompt in response,” Hamid said.


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