• The man had been admitted to a hospital in April 
  • Doctors had put him on ECMO after the condition of his lungs deteriorated
  • The patients lungs recovered in the ninth week

A 56-year-old COVID-19 patient whose lungs were fully damaged got a new lease of life after recovering from the infection.

The man, identified as Mohamed Muddhija, had been on life support at a hospital in the southern Indian city of Chennai for at least 109 day, media outlet NDTV reported.

The man had been kept on ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) support or artificial lungs for 62 days. Doctors at the Rela Hospital claimed Muddhija was the country's longest surviving patient on ECMO without transplantation.

Muddhija was admitted to the hospital after he had tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of April. Doctors had put him on ECMO after the condition of his lungs deteriorated. The patient needed 10 litres of oxygen per minute. Muddhija had been put on a waitlist for lung transplant after four weeks, NDTV reported.

After being on ECMO for weeks, the patients lungs recovered in the ninth week.

"It's my second birth. Whatever they (doctors) asked me to do I did. I had put all my efforts in God's hands," Mohamed was quoted as saying by Times Now. "I was mostly unconscious. My wife took care of everything. But I'm a sportsman and that kept me strong. Now I will get back to my business activity and take care of my family and relatives."

According to experts, this case of success offers a ray of hope for those with severe lung damage due to COVID-19. The cost of ECMO support is more than $50,000 for a month in India and only a small percentage can afford it.

"Not all patients on ECMO will require a lung transplant and if you carry on with it, there may be an opportunity for some patients to recover without lung transplant. I believe we still don't understand the lung damage in Covid, it's a new disease," Professor Mohamed Rela, Chairman and Managing Director of Rela Hospital, reportedly said.

In the last 24 hours, India added 36,571 new coronavirus cases, while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 540. The country's overall caseload now stands at more than 30 million, according to the health ministry. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.94 percent and the cases have been less than three percent for the last 25 days.

India has been battling one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the world
Representational image. AFP / Sajjad HUSSAIN