One Heart, Two Lives

The first-place winner of “Children, Hopes and Dreams”, the first UNICEF Iran and Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance joint photographycontest

Hamed Malekpour, Photojournalist
03 August 2020

Sajjad Darwishali, a 9-year-old boy from Yazd, was brain dead after a car accident in his hometown while cycling in a street on August 31, 2019. Upon his family's consent, his organs including his heart, liver, cornea and kidneys were donated to patients in need.

On September 1, 2019, Iran's emergency flight team headed to Yazd to quickly transfer Sajjad's heart to Tehran in order to be transplanted to another 10-year-old boy, Mahyar Issaei. The transplant operation was successful. Mahyar had been suffering from cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, for four years as a result of Kawasaki disease. He had been waiting for heart transplant for four months. Mahyar was discharged from the hospital after 19 days and is recovering. Doctors recommended him to rest at home for three months due to low immunity of his body and then gradually return to normal life. From now on, the hearts of the two families are beating for Mahyar’s health, wishing him a bright future.

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Hamed Malekpour
Doctors at Shahid Rahnemoon Hospital in Yazd prepare Sajjad's heart for transfering to Tehran and transplanting to 10-year-old Mahyar.
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Hamed Malekpour
Emergency technician takes Sajjad's heart to helicopter for transfering to Shahid Rajaee Hospital in Tehran. For a heart transplant, the patient needs to be transplanted within four hours after the aorta is removed, otherwise the heart will die.
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Hamed Malekpour
Mahyar’s mother whose son is going to recieve Sajjad’s heart, is restless behind the operation room.
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Hamed Malekpour
Sajjad's family and acquaintances mourn at his funeral.
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Hamed Malekpour
Sajjad's toys have been collected in his room after his death.
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Hamed Malekpour
Sajjad's mother is mourning at her child's funeral.
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Hamed Malekpour
Funeral of Sajjad at the Grand Hosseinieh of Mehriz, in a town in Yazd province.
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Hamed Malekpour
Mahyar, in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Shahid Rajaee Hospital in Tehran, is ready to be transferred to the hospital ward a few days after the heart transplant operation.
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Hamed Malekpour
Mahyar’s mother is happy to see his son being transferred from intensive care unit (ICU) to the hospital ward.
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Hamed Malekpour
More than a month after the heart transplant operation, Mahyar has partially recovered and is getting a haircut at their home in Karaj.

To see the other four winners of “Children, Dreams and Hopes” photography contest and read our press release please click here.