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Emotional family reunion as Dilchand reaches home after heart transplant

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KOLKATA: It was an emotional reunion for Dilchand Singh and his family on Sunday afternoon. Not that the 39-year-old had been away for long, but because the private tutor from Jharkhand’s Deoghar was back home after getting a new lease of life. Dilchand, who underwent eastern India’s first heart transplant surgery, was discharged on Sunday morning — 20 days after he had the surgery at Fortis Hospital, Anandapur on May 21.

“I wept with joy when my husband walked back into the house looking much better and happy. I had spoken to him over the phone when he was in the hospital and he assured me that he was fit and fine. But seeing him in flesh after he has been gifted a new life was an emotional moment for the whole family,” Dilchand’s wife, Hema Devi, told TOI.

Accompanied by a nurse and brother Umesh, Dilchand left the hospital around 6.30am on Sunday. To ensure a comfortable journey, the hospital sent him in an SUV.

The first stop was a temple, about 30km from his native place, around noon. Dilchand offered his prayers with some of his relatives who were waiting there. “Apart from the donor, donor’s family, doctors and nurses, Dilchand wanted to offer gratitude to the almighty,” said brother-in-law Bheem Singh. “I want to thank my donor’s mother and tell her that her son lives in me,” Dilchand said.

Dilchand reached home around 1pm, more relatives and neighbours were waiting to greet him. But the family requested them not to surround him as advised by the doctors.

Before his return, the family sanitised the house as Dischand is still vulnerable to infections. While his wife wants to pamper him with homemade delicacies, she was told that he needs to follow a strict diet.

“With Dilchand’s success story, two more heart patients from Jharkhand want a transplant. I hope the state funds them,” said Mukesh Kumar Das, a neighbour who convinced Dilchand for the surgery.

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