Medics in Abu Dhabi have successfully performed the first full liver and lung transplants from deceased donors in the United Arab Emirates.
The team, based at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, featured some of the world’s leading organ transplant surgeons. The team also made history by developing the first multi-organ transplant programme in the Emirates.
Cleveland Clinic have previously lead the way in organ transplantation procedures in the country, having carried out one of the country’s first deceased kidney transplants in September of last year.
Speaking at a press conference arranged to discuss their latest success, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr Rakesh Suri, said: “I remember speaking to the patient before starting the heart transplant and I asked him how he was feeling.
"He said, 'please help me, it's my seven-year-old's birthday today and I cannot be with my child because I cannot breathe'.”
“The patient's only other option was to seek treatment abroad, waiting weeks or months, if not years. He now has a brand new heart that is functioning remarkably well, he is back to his normal life, back with his family and back at work.”
With organ donation still a relatively recent development in the UAE, Dr Ali Abdulkareem Al Obaidli, Chair of the National Transplant Committee, spoke about the benefits of becoming a donor. He added: “We have already been contacted by many people who have expressed an interest in donating their organs after they die.”
“Organ transplantation is more than medicine. In many aspects it is part of humanity and charity.
“One donor could save the life of up to eight people, and if we count the tissue, then it can be even more.”
The Government in the UAE has identified healthcare as a key market to build on, as the country aims to move on from an oil-centric economy. As a result there are still plenty of opportunities available for experienced medics looking to take their skills to the Emirates.
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