Mesude Erşan - Hürriyet / Istanbul, July 13 () - A Turkish man, whose heart has stopped several times in the past four years, has cheated death one more time.
Cihat Çengeloğlu, a 27-year-old cameraman who has filmed Turkish dramas, fell down on the set one day. Doctors discovered he suffered from heart failure. Only 10 percent of his heart was working properly. It was four years ago.
Temporarily supported by a pacemaker, Çengeloğlu waited in line to have a heart transplant. It took too long, leading to failures in other organs. Now a heart pump was supporting him and his body had rejected four transplant candidates.
The fight to help Çengeloğlu survive then hit headlines. In 2012, daily Hürriyet reported on its front page that he had waited for a heart for seven months and finally found one. His new heart, transported from the Black Sea province of Trabzon to Istanbul in a six-hour race, was finally beating inside his chest after a difficult operation.
His healing process, too, was difficult. He stayed for almost 400 days in the hospital before being discharged. When he finally did, he was optimistic about his future, as his doctor had said there were people in the world with transplanted hearts who were still alive 28 years after the operation.
Çengeloğlu, with his new heart, rested for a year at home. He then changed his profession and began to work at a bank. A few weeks ago, however, he suddenly felt weakness and nausea. Luckily, he thought in the hospital, it was not his heart; just a simple gallbladder stone.
His gallbladder had to be removed, though. After doctors gave the green light, the operation started at an Istanbul hospital and ended successfully. When he was taken to a stretcher, however, his heart stopped once again.
Doctors massaged his heart for almost an hour. Thanks to this, his brain was constantly fed with blood, hence did not suffer any damage, and his heart started to beat again as suddenly as it had stopped. “It was miracle,” one doctor recently told daily Hürriyet.
Çengeloğlu, dodging death one more time, still enjoys life. “He has a strong heart. We started a treatment to cope with the rejection of the heart, which was developed only after the gallbladder stone caused an acute infection. It works. He weathered another great crisis and we now expect him to live a long life,” Prof. Dr. Süha Küçükaksu said.