Mahto lung transplant successful, weaned off breathing support
State education minister Jagarnath Mahto, who underwent a lung transfer following a coronavirus infection that kept him bedridden for nearly two months, has overcome the ailment and is now good to lead a normal life again.
Mahto is now able to sit on his own and also stand with support, doctors from the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Healthcare in Chennai said on Monday, adding that the minister would be able to attend Vidhan Sabha sessions from January onwards.
Dr. Suresh Rao, Co-director of the Institute of Heart and Lung Transplantation & Mechanical Circulatory Assist Device at MGM, said Mahto has started breathing without any artificial respiratory assistance from machines. But, he will take around two more weeks to start walking without support.
“His lungs are fine. The oxygen saturation is also optimum. Right now, he is undergoing physiotherapy and should be able to walk soon,” said Rao, adding that the minister would be able to lead a normal life from the beginning of 2021 if everything went well from here.
“He can lead a normal life, but he has to be careful and avoid any infection in his lungs,” said Dr. Rao.
The 54-year-old Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislator from Dumri constituency in Jharkhand underwent lung transplant surgery at MGM on November 10. While he remained in the ICU, he was recovering fast and conscious since the surgery, doctors said.
His party, the JMM, the largest party in the state Assembly, has started preparing for a grand welcome ceremony for Mahto, a son of the soil. The first-time-minister in the Hemant Soren Cabinet, Mahto is a popular figure among JMM supporters. Before getting infected by the coronavirus, he was in the news for taking admission in intermediate (class 11 and 12) and presenting cars to the toppers of class 10 and class 12 board exams in Jharkhand.
Mahto tested positive for Covid-19 on September 28 and was admitted to state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi. He was shifted to the ICU of Bhagwan Mahavir Medica Superspecialty Hospital in the state capital on October 1 and put on non-invasive ventilation. The minister was flown to Chennai on October 19 after his lungs showed no signs of improvement and was put on life support.
Doctors from the hospital said that Mahto’s lung transplant surgery cost the Jharkhand government around Rs 30 lakh and his treatment altogether will cost roughly Rs 80 lakh. However, there was no official confirmation on the amount quoted by the hospital for the minister’s treatment.