Dr Nityanand Mandke or Dr Nitu Mandke was a well known cardiac surgeon in Mumbai. He was a self – made man Known as the pioneer of minimally invasive coronary artery surgery (MICAS) in India, he was very young to be so cultural and competent. He was very often called ‘Superfast” Mandke because he was so quick and precise while performing his surgery. He was very down to earth doctor and easily accessible for everyone. His compassion towards his patients made a difference. He used to help all needy and poor patients both emotionally and monetarily.
Education and Early life
Dr. Mandke was born on 31 January 1948. After graduating from a Pune medical college, he came to Mumbai for his Master’s degree in General Surgery and Cardio-thoracic surgery. He did it from KEM, Mumbai under the supervision of Dr P. K. Sen. Dr Mandke was also a sportsman. He was boxing champion, captain of the football team and a record-holding distance runner, during his college days. He did a short assignment at the LTMG Hospital, as an assistant professor. He also worked in the United States and the United Kingdom for several years. Between 1979 and 1984, he worked in Germany before returning to Mumbai in 1985. He rejected lucrative offers from international medical organisations because he wanted to serve his countrymen. Dr Mandke was married to a doctor. He had one son and two daughters.
Dr Mandke was an athletic and vibrant person with an inimitable sense of humour. He was honest with everybody who came in contact with him, to the degree of being occasionally rude. But it was only temporary and then he was back to his jovial self which often left people amazed. He made everyone feel like his close family. He made it so obvious for his patient and their caregivers that once they leave their office the would feel a close connection with him and find a new friend in this prominent cardiac surgeon.
It was certainly a dull day of 22nd May 2003 for the whole Medical Fraternity. That day After finishing his clinic at Kem’s corner, he was returning home when he felt uneasiness and informed his wife that he would be going for a check-up as he was experiencing chest pain. He went to Hinduja hospital and informed the doctors that he had severed a heart attack. He even instructed them accordingly for the line of treatment doctor he wanted to receive. Dr Mandke was a fighter and he was a person who wouldn’t give up things so easily. He was immediately admitted. He struggled for life for 2 days but as he suffered multiple cardiac arrests, he finally succumbed to death. It was a tragic end of a lifesaver and a legend. Life’s most severe and harsh act was witnessed. The sad demise of this extraordinary cardiovascular surgeon with precious talent succumbed to cardiac arrest.
Doctor Mandke had carried out over 10,000 cardiac surgeries in his life and it is one of a kind of records. He had treated many VVIPs including the great Bala saheb Thackery. Evena book named ’Hridayasth’ was published on his life and career. He had a dream of building a state of art heart hospital for the service of the society and made its existence by building a huge 18-storey structure which he wanted to be Asia’s premier heart hospital. Sadly, it was incomplete at the time of his sudden passing away. It has been known as the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KEM) where his wife is a trustee. Mandke Foundation, A charitable organisation is now continuing to fulfil his dream and putting all energy in serving people.