Heart transplant recipient celebrates 18 years "rebirth"

09:30, April 27, 2010      

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Yang Yumin, 51, China's longest-surviving hearttransplant recipient, celebrates 18 years of life with his transplanted heart in the hospital where doctors performed the operation in Harbin of northeastern China's Heilongjiang province, on Monday, April 26, 2010. More than 800 people had received heart transplants in China by 2009, 31 years after the first such operation was performed in 1978. [Photo: Xinhua]

China's longest-surviving heart-transplant recipient celebrated 18 years with his new heart Monday.

"I was lucky. The transplant was my rebirth," said Yang Yumin, the 51-year-old heart-transplant recipient.

The celebration took place at the No. 2 Clinical Hospital attached to Harbin University of Medical Science in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, where doctors performed the operation 18 years ago.

Yang, a farmer from the suburbs of Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang, contracted ectatic myocarditis in 1989. Before the transplant, he could neither walk, sit nor lie down, and was at constant risk of heart failure.

Xia Qiuming, a famous cardiac surgeon, performed the transplant on April 26, 1992, with the heart of a brain-dead 23-year-old.

Yang even survived a motorcycle-car collision in 2000, with heart beat returning to normal within weeks of the accident.

Yang has a 17-year-old daughter and he runs a small fast-food restaurant at the hospital.

More than 800 people had received heart transplants in China by 2009, 31 years after the first such operation was performed in Shanghai in 1978.

Source:Xinhua/Shanghai Daily
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