Air India flight leaves early for a change, flies heart to save critically ill man


A critically ill man in Chennai was literally saved on a wing and a prayer after a beating heart was flown in from Madurai and reached him in the nick of time.

The 48-year-old Pune resident, suffering from a rapidly deteriorating heart muscle disease called cardiomyopathy, was admitted in the hospital three weeks ago. On Wednesday, a 29-year-old died in Madurai after a serious car accident.

In a noble gesture, the road crash victim’s family consented to donating his heart, kidneys, liver and eyes. As soon as the Chennai hospital heard of this, it flew a team of doctors to Madurai to harvest the man’s heart.

The medical team then contacted Air India to find if they could fly the harvested heart to Chennai at the earliest. AI had a scheduled Madurai-Chennai-Mumbai flight (AI 672) and offered to fly it out of Madurai as soon as the medical team was ready to go.

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