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AUS pioneer chronicles tryst with pulmonary fibrosis in first book
An American University of Sharjah (AUS) graduate was a recent recipient of a double lung transplant in India. Ansar Babu, an alumnus of the first graduating class often referred to at AUS as the “pioneers,” was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a fatal lung disease, in 2018. While on a life support machine at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, Babu was matched with a donor and received his new lungs on September 10. In order to share his inspirational journey, Babu took on the challenge of chronicling his experiences and released a memoir entitled Who Took My Breath Away? six months after his surgery.
Babu was taken by surprise when he learned that he was suffering from a chronic lung disease. Not being a smoker, the doctors could not justify his persistent cough, which led to a rapid scarring of his lungs and the need for a double lung transplant by midyear 2018. In his book, Babu, who is the Head of Marketing at Etihad Airways, writes about the pain and uncertainty of his diagnosis, his journey to Chennai, and what it felt like to be on a life support machine while awaiting his new, life-saving organs.
Speaking about his book, 39-year-old Babu, said:
“After my surgery, I had to be in total isolation for six months. Tired of watching an endless number of movies and television shows, I decided to take on a new challenge – writing a memoir. In my book, I share my journey from diagnoses to the double lung transplant and my efforts to increase awareness about organ donation and pulmonary fibrosis. I have recently registered as an organ donor on the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention’s Hayat application and hope and urge more people will do the same.”
The initial response to the book has been very positive with the book reaching the top spot on the Amazon US Kindle Store Best Seller list in the organ transplant category and number two on the India Hot New Releases list in the healthy living and wellness category.
Babu worked in collaboration with fellow AUS alumna, Mehvish Razvi, who served as the editor of the book.
Who Took My Breath Away? is available for purchase online and can also be found at the AUS Library.