In December 2019, for the first time in 15 long years in Ukraine, a heart transplant was performed from a posthumous donor in Kovel. Vasyl Mihovka, a 56-year-old Ukrainian from Transcarpathia, underwent surgery. It was an important day not only for the Heart Institute, but also for the whole of Ukraine – a new history of Ukrainian cardiac transplantation has begun. The operation was performed by Prof Borys Todurov together with teams of doctors from the Heart Institute and Kovel District Hospital. The operation was unique – the recipient was transported to the donor, not vice versa.
We would like to note the incredibly coordinated work of the doctors of the Heart Institute and the team of the Kovel District Hospital where the operation was performed. Many thanks to Oleg Samchuk, then chief physician of Kovel District Hospital, and now – General Director of the Clinical Emergency Hospital of Lviv thanks to which the complex process of transplantation was successfully implemented.
This operation was a confirmation that heart transplantation is possible in Ukraine and that there is a team that is able to do it.
On the photos below (left to right): December 2019 Boris Todurov and Oleg Samchuk; January 2020 Boris Todurov, Vasyl Mihovka; February 2021 Anna Melnyk, Vasyl Mihovka with his wife, Gavrilo Kovtun
A few days ago, Vasyl Mihovka visited the Department of Organ Transplantation of the Heart Institute (head of the department is Gavril Kovtun and attending physician is Anna Melnyk) for a routine inspection. We made sure he was feeling well.
We are sincerely grateful to all those involved in organizing and conducting the operation. Respect to the relatives of the donor who provided such an opportunity.
Ukrainian transplantation is moving forward and we are sure that many more lives will be saved.