Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: The Kerala government's organ donation programme yesterday ensured its first transplant with the heart from a patient who passed away in the morning in Thiruvananthapuram being taken to Kochi where a recipient was waiting, officials said.

The heart was airlifted to Kochi with the help of the Indian Navy, the chief minister's Office told IANS.

"The chief minister sought the services of the navy and got an aircraft which brought in doctors from Kochi. In a few hours, the heart was taken out from the patient and was taken to Kochi, where another patient was waiting for it," said an official in chief minister Oommen Chandy's office.

The district authorities in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi made elaborate arrangements for the speedy transfer to and from the airport as traffic was brought to a standstill for the time the heart was transported.

"The chief minister took up this case as part of the 'Mrithasanjeevani' programme that facilitates organ transplant," said the official.

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