For Sunil Gade and his brother Sanjay, getting a job with transport undertaking BEST was always a matter of coincidence. But the brothers had never expected they would be undergoing heart surgeries on the same day for the same complication.
Doctors at Nair hospital said it was quite unusual for them to operate on two siblings for the same ailment almost simultaneously. They said the brothers, Sunil a driver and Sanjay a conductor, present a perfect case of medical history in a family for a specific disease.
Sunil, 46, and his younger brother Sanjay are currently recuperating at their native place in Aurangabad. Both have similar eating habits and are fond of oily food. Their mother, who often complained of chest pain, died from diabetes a few years ago.
“In September, my elder brother had two episodes of chest pain. Initially, he thought it was due to acidity. After about two weeks, he experienced severe chest pain with excessive sweating.
Electrocardiogram and stress tests at Nair hospital revealed that he had three blockages,” said Sanjay, who resides at Tardeo.
The 42-year-old conductor said he faced similar problems after three days. Doctors found two blockages in his left anterior descending (LAD) artery. In October, the brothers underwent angioplasty, a procedure to remove the blockages.
In medical fraternity, doctors call LAD the ‘widow maker’. If this artery gets abruptly and completely blocked, it will cause a massive heart attack and may lead to sudden death.
Sanjay added, “Initially, our family members were scared but now everything is smooth. We are on leave, taking rest. Though our mother died due to blood sugar-related complication, she would often complain of chest pain.” Sunil and Sanjay have two more brothers – Pravin, 44, a BMC employee and 36-year-old Vinod, who works in the police department. The family members are now keeping a close watch on their health.
“This is the classic case of medical history in a family for which all members need regular health check-ups. This is the first time in my career that I’ve operated on two siblings for the same procedure on the same day,” said Dr Ajay Chaurasia, Head of Cardiology Department, Nair hospital.
Dr Chaurasia added, “The widow maker artery in both the cases was blocked. We used stents to settle the blood flow in the artery. The procedure is a routine one but it was bit of too much coincidence.”
The widow maker
Left anterior descending (LAD) artery is nicknamed as widow maker. If this artery gets abruptly and completely blocked, it will cause a massive heart attack which may lead to sudden death.