UAE: Heart of brain-dead resident airlifted to Saudi Arabia, saves patient's life

The organ donation process was conducted after obtaining the approval of the deceased’s relatives; the operation lasted for about four minutes

File photo
File photo

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 3 Nov 2022, 1:58 PM

Last updated: Thu 3 Nov 2022, 3:09 PM

The heart of a clinically brain-dead person in the UAE has saved the life of a 50-year-old patient in Saudi Arabia.

In a great humanitarian gesture, the family of the brain-dead person in Abu Dhabi donated the deceased’s heart to a patient in Riyadh who suffered from heart failure.

A medical team from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre travelled to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and performed the heart removal operation on the donor.

After obtaining the approval of the deceased’s relatives, the organ donation process was conducted in an operation that lasted for about four minutes.

The organ was then airlifted to Riyadh and reached the hospital within 4 hours. The heart was transported by a fully equipped technical crew and a medical evacuation team.

In Riyadh, the heart transplant was a success, giving a new lease of life to the Saudi Arabian patient.


Gulf nations have signed an agreement where they exchange body organs wherever there is an urgent need to save people’s lives.

In February 2021, a clinically brain-dead donor saved the lives of four people in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Tawam Hospital, a healthcare facility affiliated with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), completed Al Ain's second organ donation, in partnership with the Saudi Centre for Organ Transplantation. The 50-year-old donor was admitted at Tawam Hospital following an acute stroke that resulted in brain trauma and consequently brain death. After the operation, his heart was sent to Saudi Arabia while the rest of the organs were sent to different patients in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

In May 2020, body organs donated by an Emirati man after dying in an accident had helped save lives of four people in Saudi Arabia, according to a medical official from Saudi Arabia.

The 41-year-old Emirati man died at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain from stroke due to traffic accident. But before his death, the man said he wanted to donate his body organs. And immediately after passing on, the medical team took his heart, liver, and two kidneys in 3 surgeries that lasted for 6 hours.

More news from