A heart from a 21-year-old donor was successfully transplanted to a 12-year-old boy suffering from heart failure after it was rushed from Guilin to Beijing by air on Friday. The story of the young patient and his donor has inspired Weibo, with CCTV’s coverage of the operation already receiving over 24,000 shares on the microblog and more than 4,000 comments from netizens wishing him a speedy recovery.
The heart was removed from 21-year-old Ye Jin, who was declared brained-dead from a tumor at 5 p.m. on Friday, according to CRIEnglish. It was immediately transported to Beijing on a China Southern Airlines flight then airlifted by helicopter to the downtown Anzhen Hospital where the boy was waiting.
The heart spent four hours in transit. Typical storage time for a human heart outside of a body is less than 6 hours, after which, the organ’s tissue begins to deteriorate.
The donor’s heart was successfully transplanted to the boy, surnamed Bao, after a five-hour operation. He is now in stable condition at the hospital, and doctors believe that if his heart functions well, it should sustain him for around 15 years.
Netizens were moved by the so-called “love relay”, especially considering the tragically young age of the donor himself.
“21 years old and brain-dead…very unfortunate,” Weibo user 王茜__qian said. “But his heart is still alive.”
User yoyo顺子 wrote: “The donor and his family are wonderful, I hope it’s a successful surgery.”
Previously on Shanghaiist: 46 children in rural China with heart disease receive free surgery