“I survived thanks to Magdy Yacoub.” The story of a heart transplant patient who lived longer than he died

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Thursday, November 16, 2023

Books – Ahmed Gomaa and Muhammad Ataya:

English policeman David Agate never imagined that he would live an additional 37 years beyond his 54 years with “a child’s heart,” after a heart transplant, performed by Egyptian surgeon Magdy Yacoub.

Medical estimates supervised by Yacoub indicated that Ajat – despite the success of the heart transplant – would not continue to live for more than another 6 or 7 years, but the English policeman contradicted those expectations.

Agat, who was about to become the oldest person in the world to undergo a heart transplant in 1984, died two years ago, after “living longer than expected.”

The story of Ajat was particularly linked to Sir Magdi Yacoub. On the anniversary of his 88th birthday, Masrawy publishes the details of a telephone conversation with David Agate, 3 years ago, in which he recounted his meeting with the Egyptian doctor, and his health condition 35 years after – at that time – a heart transplant, and it was prepared for publication as part of a journalistic project about the life of Magdy Yacoub. As a result of the Corona pandemic.

From death emerges life

Ajat underwent a heart transplant at the hands of Egyptian surgeon Magdy Yacoub, 4 years after he headed the heart transplant program at Harefield Hospital in London, where he and his team contributed to many surgical operations, making this hospital the main center for organ transplantation in the United Kingdom.

Months earlier, the Chief of Police at Scotland Yard learned of his serious heart condition and the short time he had left to live, after medical examinations and his repeated complaints showed that the usual clinical treatment in cases of heart disease was difficult.

At that time, “Agat” became desperate, and his weight increased in an unusual way for a man like him who works in the police due to the diet that he had been on since he heard the news of his illness. However, on the advice of a colleague, he asked him to present his condition to Dr. Magdi Yaqoub to obtain an opinion. second.

“Agat” said in telephone statements to Masrawy, 3 years before this report was prepared, that: “In 1984, I learned that my condition required a heart transplant.”

Yacoub outlined the usual procedures for such surgeries, as it now requires providing a human heart for a deceased person.

He added: “I received the heart of a 14-year-old girl who died in an accident. I did not know anything about this little girl,” becoming one of the few patients who underwent this operation in the world at the time.

“It’s been a long time,” Ajat said. “I was number 90 on a list of other people who had a heart transplant and died, but thanks to Jacob, I survived.”

After undergoing a heart transplant, the treating team told him that he only had a few years to live: “Dr. Magdy Yacoub expected me to survive the heart transplant for 6 or 7 years.”

With only one decade left on this earth before him, Ajat returned to work for another two years, helping solve 23 murders.

However, Agat lived longer than expected, reaching a full 37 years after that delicate surgery, until his death at the end of 2021, adding: “Despite what they told me, I lived longer than that.”

In his general celebration of his 90th birthday in late 2019, Dr. Magdy Yacoub congratulated him on his birthday, as he was one of his oldest patients at the time. He responded by saying: “I know Dr. Magdy Yacoub very well, and I thank him.”

The post first appeared on www.masrawy.com

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