NRI Dr. Harvinder Singh Sahota, icon cardiologist from Punjab
Los Angeles, Jan 10, 2010
An icon cardiologist from Punjab who invented a device “Sahota Perfusion Balloon” to help and save lives of millions of people all over the world.
The Perfusion Balloon is now used in angioplasty surgeries all over the world. A small, hollow and flexible tube with a balloon near its end, this device is placed in the heart arteries to lift partial blood blockage caused by fat or cholesterol.
In 1985, Dr. Sahota became the first cardiologist in America from India to have a patent of Perfusion Baloon. Until now he has gathered almost twenty four more patents.
He was born to a station master on April 15, 1941 in Basti Tankwali, in Ferozepur Cantonment of Punjab, India. During his childhood he got very ill twice and almost died. Therefore his father decides to motivate him to become a doctor when grown up and help save lives.
His father always reminded his son Harvinder during his school years to focus in studies to become a doctor. He reminded his son "Back on track, boy!" study study study.
Harvinder too fulfill his father's pledge, was soon on track by enrolling in the pre-medical course DAV College, Jalandhar. He always kept busy in Libraries and laboratories and made school his second home.
In 1959 he got admission in Government Medical College, Patiala. Harvinder finally became Dr. Harvinder Singh in 1965, after completing his MBBS, followed by a six-month internship at Bhadson near Sangrur in Punjab.
During July 1967, he moved to London's Southall. He worked at Llangwyfan for four years, quitting in 1972. During his stay, he had the opportunity to complete a postgraduate course in tropical medicine from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In 1971 he completed a post-graduation in chest medicine from the University of Cardiff.
In 1974 a telegram from Rochester, New York, with a pre-paid reply card, said "Position available from July 1". Dr. Sahota always was on the lookout for opportunities in USA and accepted the offer immediately and worked there till 1977.
Through a contact - a professor - he quickly picked up a job in LA at St Vincent's Hospital where he was to create his first invention in 1977 - the Haemostat.
Though still a fellow, Harvinder's haemostat started being used for general surgeries to stop blood spillage. It helped doctors plug the blood without using their thumb or hands
The experiment was carried out in 1978 and Sahota applied for the patent in 1980.
He also had worked hard towards the establishment of the Sikh museum in the world famous Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. He is on the Board of Directors there.
Dr. Sahota is a Sikh, a very simple and religious person. He believes in Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs) and must bow in front of him (Guru Granth Sahib) every day and get gurus blessings. This routine that Dr. Sahota rarely fails to follow. Perhaps it is his way of expressing gratitude to the Sikh Gurus who gave him courage and conviction to be one of the best in his field.
He is married to his beautiful wife Asha and has two sons Niel and Eric. He has his own clinic in southern California. He is very knowledgeable and involved in community politics. He is a generous philanthropist and helpful to people of all colors.