The Navy yet again pitched in with timely assistance for an organ transplant emphasizing its commitment to social issues by providing a Naval Dornier for the transportation of medical team for heart harvesting and their subsequent return with the harvested heart.
On 18 Jul 16, the District Collector, Ernakulam, forwarded a request to Headquarters, Southern Naval Command (HQSNC) for transportation of a harvested heart from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi. Accordingly, four doctors of Lisie Hospital and their medical equipment were airlifted by an IN Dornier from INS Garuda to Thiruvananthapuram on 19 Jul 16 at 06:30 am.
The aircraft landed at Thiruvananthapuram Airport at 07:15 am after which the medical team proceeded to Medical College Hospital, Trivandrum. The team of doctors harvested the heart of a brain dead boy and reached Thiruvananthapuram airport at 12:15 pm.
The medical team along with the harvested heart returned to INS Garuda, Kochi at 01:00 pm by the same IN Dornier. The medical team along with the harvested heart returned to Lisie Hospital for the heart transplant, by their ambulance which was positioned at INS Garuda.
The aircraft was flown by the following aircrew of INS Garuda:-
(a) Cdr Sreekrishnan (04510-Z) – Captain of Aircraft.
(b) Lt Cdr Nilesh Tanksalkar (06003-T) – Co-Pilot.
(c) Lt Cdr Tittu M Joseph (05990-N) – Tactical Operator
The operation required coordination at various levels which included approval from higher authorities and role change of aircraft from “military” to “civil aid” which was carried out expeditiously.