Sudhir Choudhrie on Recognizing the Small Blessings in Life
The hardship that Mr. Choudhrie’s future was to endure was first noticed, when his mother decided to take out an insurance policy for him when he was eight, which required a complete medical exam. The results of that visit showed that Choudhrie had a leaking heart valve, causing his heart to skip beats. The condition was serious and by 1996, the cumulative damage to his heart began to reach a critical point, resulting in two heart failures over the next three years.
Choudhrie’s Transplant and Recovery
By 1999, both sides of Choudhrie’s heart were failing and the pressure inside his lungs was extremely high, while the pressure in the rest of his body was quite low — a dangerous combination. Choudhrie was within a few hours of dying when a heart finally became available in 1999 when a 20-year-old man who was registered as a donor passed away.
The operation was successful and Choudhrie is currently one of the longest-surviving heart transplant patients in the world.
The Titin Gene
All of Choudhrie’s children have been tested for the titin gene as a matter of routine. His youngest son Dhairya was tested in 2014, which showed that he also has this mutation. Dhairya is following a healthier diet by avoiding saturated fats and only eating red meat once per week. Dhairya feels fortunate to have found out about his condition at the age of 32, which is considerably younger than Sudhir was when he learnt of his genetic propensity for developing a heart condition. Dhairya was also adamant that his father should tell his story as an object lesson in living your life with a positive outlook regardless of your personal circumstances.
Told from the Heart: A Tale of Love, Life and Destiny
Choudhrie spoke with other transplant recipients while conducting the research for his book. Many of these people inspired him with their breathtaking ambition and attitude, including one woman who ran a marathon after her operation. On the other hand, Choudhrie has also met people who have thrown away the opportunity they’ve been given by adopting a negative attitude. For example, he once shared his experiences with six other patients who felt they didn’t need to make any changes regarding their health because they didn’t expect to live very long. One patient in particular refused to give up junk food, saying ‘Why should I? I’m going to die anyway.’
Lessons to Be Learned
is that everyone will pass one day, but transplant patients have a good chance of a successful outcome. He also emphasizes the benefits of a loving family that cherishes the patient in achieving this goal. A heart will continue beating if it has a reason to do so, which is why Choudhrie wants to inspire more people to become organ donors. He adds that the family of his donor must have been devastated by their loss but were able to rise above that grief when they approved the donation that would save Choudhrie’s life. He also says that his new heart swells with the emotion of this thought. Choudhrie’s routine has changed significantly since his operation, primarily because he now prioritizes the time he spends with his loved ones.