Pakistan hockey legend Mansoor Ahmed offered free heart transplant in India

Fortis Group of Hospitals has offered free heart transplant for Pakistan’s World Cup winning hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed, days after the 49-year-old made an emotional request to the Indian government to grant him a visa on medical grounds. The ailing former Pakistani hockey star needs a heart transplant and less than a week ago he asked Indian establishment’s support after he was advised by his doctor in Karachi to look for better treatment in Indian shores.

Fortis, on Friday, has not only agreed to offer him treatment at its hospitals in Mumbai and Chennai, but also made it clear that the entire treatment would be free. Mansoor, who had an impressive record against India back in his playing days, is currently being treated at Karachi’s Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Ahmed’s doctor, Choudhry Pervez, earlier advised him to opt for treatment in India in the hope that the New Delhi government would be sympathetic towards the unwell hockey star. While speaking to Mumbai Mirror on Friday, Dr S Narayani, zonal director, Fortis (Mumbai) said that the group will register Ahmed for a heart transplant in Mumbai and Chennai, provided he gets clearance from the Indian establishment. “Once he gets a clearance from the government, we can get an assessment done to confirm whether he is fit enough to travel,” Dr Narayani said.

Ahmed, who has been an icon in the Pakistani sports community since 1994, has reportedly been suffering difficulty from a pacemaker and stents in his heart.

Several former Indian hockey stars, who have shared the hockey pitch with the former Pakistani custodian in the past, have appealed to the Indian government to come to Ahmed’s rescue. Leading the chorus, former Indian captain V Baskaran was quoted as saying that everyone concerned “needed to act fast”.

State health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said when it comes to saving lives, cross-border strife doesn’t matter. “We treat many foreign nationals. In this case, if the patient wants to be treated in India, I don’t see a problem,” Sawant said.