Indian hospital offers free heart transplant to Pakistan’s hockey legend

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Lahore: A private hospital in India has offered to perform a free of cost heart transplant surgery to Pakistan’s World Cup winning hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed.

Fortis Group of Hospitals has offered to register him for the transplant less than a week after the 49-year-old legend made an appeal to the Indian government to grant him visa on medical grounds, The Times of India reported.

Ahmed has been a sporting icon in Pakistan since helping the country wins the 1994 World Cup in Sydney with his penalty stroke push against the Netherlands in the final.

“I may have broken a lot of Indian hearts on the field of play by beating India in the Indira Gandhi Cup (1989) and in other events but that was sport … now I need a heart transplant in India and for that I need support from the Indian government,” he said in an interview earlier this week.

Ahmed — who played 338 international matches, participated in three Olympics and various other high-profile events in a career spanning from 1986 to 2000 — said the visa could be a lifesaver.

“Humanity is paramount and I too would be obliged if I get a visa and other help in India,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed has already made it clear that he was not looking for financial assistance and all he wanted was an Indian visa on medical grounds after his doctor, Choudhry Pervez, advised him to seek treatment in the neighbouring country.

“Once he gets a clearance from the government, we can get an assessment done to confirm whether he is fit enough to travel,” Dr S Narayani, zonal director Fortis Mumbai told an Indian media outlet.

Many Indian athletes including hockey greats have shown their support for the Pakistani legend’s medical treatment in India. Former India captain V Baskaran was quoted as saying that everyone concerned “needed to act fast”.

Ahmed would have brace for a long wait even if he is granted a medical visa, as a heart can be donated to a foreign national only when there are no Indians on the waiting list.

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