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The Tribune: Pak hockey legend Mansoor Ahmed passes away (5/14/2018)
The Tribune: Pak hockey legend Mansoor Ahmed passes away

Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed passed away at a city hospital here on Saturday after battling a prolonged heart ailment.

The 49-year-old Olympian had been suffering for weeks from complications stemming from a pacemaker and stents implanted in his heart, and had reached out to India for help in securing a heart transplant.

The Pakistan government had reportedly offered Ahmed mechanical heart transplantation, which would have been the first time the procedure was to be conducted in the country. But Ahmed had refused the offer as he wanted a more conventional and proven procedure, for which he had wanted to go to India.

The hockey legend, who was known as the 1994 World Cup hero for Pakistan, had been suffering from heart ailment for the past three years and was under treatment at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases here.

“Mansoor passed away this afternoon due to heart complications,” Dr Naveed Qamar said. Ahmed was advised by senior heart surgeons at the hospital to undergo an operation to have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted to help pump blood to his heart.

“They are all looking after me very well here but I want to go for a proper heart transplant as there are donors available in India right now,” Ahmed had told PTI on May 1. A renowned heart surgeon, Dr Komarakshi Balakrishnan, at the Fortis Malar hospital in Chennai had looked at Ahmed’s case and assured him if he came to India he could do the heart transplant immediately.

Qamar, who is the administrative head at the NIVCD, said Ahmed’s condition was not right for him to travel anywhere. Ahmed, who became a household name in 1994 after heroic saves in penalty shootouts against Germany and Netherlands in the Champions Trophy and World Cup finals, had also appealed to the Indian government to issue him the necessary visa to travel to Chennai.

Ahmed, who represented Pakistan in 338 internationals, had already had a major heart surgery in 2016 and since early this year was battling for his life.

The Pakistan hockey fraternity was shocked at the sad demise of the goalkeeper.

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