Muraleedharan, Dr M S Valiathan
Thiruvananthapuram: Famous cardiologist Dr M S Valiathan gets a phone call on December 6 every year. Thrissur Erumapetty native K D Muraleedharan (69) makes the yearly phone call to the doctor to convey his thanks. Muraleedharan is the first person to undergo heart valve replacement surgery with the valve that was developed in Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, in Thiruvananthapuram. Dr M S Valiathan, the Founder Director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute, developed the heart valve and performed the surgery.
The surgery was on December 6 in the year 1990. When Muraleedharan was undergoing the treatment, the doctor had instructed him to inform his future wife about the matter of the heart valve. All those who heard about his condition refused to marry him.
Dr Valiathan developed the heart valve after long years of research and hard work. Following Muraleedharan's surgery, over 250 heart valve replacement surgeries took place at five medical colleges in the country within 2 years. Detailed studies on heart valve surgeries also appeared in world-famous medical journals. People started to trust heart valve surgery following these developments. At present, more than 1.5 lakh hearts throb with the valve gifted by Sree Chitra.
Muraleedharan was only 38 years when he sought treatment at Sree Chitra after experiencing palpitations while walking. Dr Krishnamanohar, the junior doctor of Dr M S Valiathan informed him that he will need a heart valve replacement surgery. He was asked to book an imported valve for the surgery. That is when Dr M S Valiathan suggested using valves developed in the medical college for Muraleedharan's valve replacement. Many others had rejected it before, but Muraleedharan agreed to it. Following the surgery, he got a pacemaker after 10 years. But Muraleedharan who was employed in electronics service forced to quit his job.