SPANISH Dad’s Double Whammy: A new heart AND a new baby, all in the same day
A young Spanish family from Madrid experienced a truly life-changing day in mid-March when 39-year-old Antonio Salvador was told that a heart had suddenly become available for his long-awaited transplant. It might be surprising to hear that he had to think twice about undergoing the life-saving operation, except that his wife was in labour with their first baby at that exact moment. He was, in fact, the delivery room of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital when he received the call from his cardiologists informing him that the National Transplant Organization (ONT) had notified them that there was a compatible donation.
“It took me a few minutes to make the decision because it involved missing the birth of my first child. However, in less than an hour they were preparing me in the building for the intervention. When I entered the operating room I had not yet been a father, I spoke with my wife by video call and we both wished each other luck. When I woke up I had double satisfaction,” the new dad told Spanish daily El Dia.
Midwife Verónica Hernández said she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the dad leave the delivery room, but was “filled with joy” when she discovered the reason. Likewise, Antonio’s wife Ana said that, while they both had to go through their ordeals separately, it was all worth it to have a new life in one hospital bed and a saved life in another.
“Our son Samuel came with a heart under his arm for his father,” the new mum said.
“Many patients with this type of heart disease end up in terminal heart failure and, as in Antonio’s case, heart transplantation is the only solution. That day he was born again and his son was also born, surely they will remember him for a lifetime,” Manuel Ruiz Fernández, the surgeon who performed the transplant, added.