Military helicopter flies overhead with donor heart from Riga – video

A military helicopter has flown a donor’s heart from Riga to Vilnius after no recipient was found in Latvia.

The donor was diagnosed with brain death in one of Riga’s hospitals and the family gave the consent to use the organs, the Lithuanian National Transplant Bureau said. “The Latvians found no suitable recipient for the heart transplant and therefore it was offered to Lithuanian recipients.”

A medical team from Vilnius’ Santaros hospital was flown by a military helicopter to Riga early on Monday. The team with the donor heart returned to the Lithuanian capital in the afternoon. In a video sent by an eyewitness to LRT, the military helicopter can be seen flying overhead before landing at the hospital on Monday.

Audronė Būziuvienė, the deputy director of the National Transplant Bureau, told BNS that the heart transplant surgery was to last two to three hours.

Latvia donated seven organs to Lithuania, a heart and six kidneys, in 2019. Lithuania donated a heart and two kidneys to Latvia in 2018.

About 12 heart transplant surgeries are performed in Lithuania annually, according to the bureau.

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