Jose Chacko Periappuram was born in South Paravur, a small village in the Indian state of Kerala. His father, Prof. P.M. Chacko was a renowned botanist who discovered two plants and was principal at St. Thomas College, Pala. His mother is Mrs. Mary Chacko. The late Fr. Abel CMI, founder chairman of Kalabhavan, was his uncle.
Jose matriculated from the St. Ephraim's High School, and went to study BSc in Botany at the St. Thomas College, Palai from where he graduated in BSc Botany in 1978. He passed MBBS from Govt. Medical College, Kottayam in 1985. He underwent one year of Senior House Surgeons Course at the Kottayam Medical College and went on to the United Kingdom for Post-graduate education and training. He passed his FRCS part 1 from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in Dublin in 1986 and completed his general surgical training from various hospitals in the Republic of Ireland. This included the County Hospital, Roscommon, Our Lady's Hospital, Drogheda, and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital at Dublin. He passed his FRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow and Edinburgh in the year 1992. His higher Cardiac Surgical training was mainly at the University Hospital of Wales and Manchester Royal Infirmary and passed the FRCS in Cardiac Surgery in 1994, one of the few cardiac surgeons to secure this degree from all three surgical colleges. His mentor was Dr I.M.Breckenridge who was a member of the team which led the first Heart surgery in England in 1960's. He further underwent training in Cardiac Transplantation at the famous Papworth Hospital.
In 2003, he performed the first ever Heart transplantation in the state of Kerala, making it the third state in India to achieve this feat. Mr. Abraham, received the heart. Jose went on with this mission to perform the second heart transplant the very next year. Vipin, had a Heart transplant, as a part of the first Multi-organ Transplant in the state. He has since performed over 11 heart transplants and continues to do so.
On 6 March 2014, Jose became the first cardiac surgeon to conduct the first successful heart re-transplant in the country. 9 months later, Gireesh, the fourth transplant patient had developed a fever which led to a valve infection and thus an unusable heart which had to be replaced.
Flying in a heart by the Navy's Dornier aircraft
On the 24th of July, 2015; Jose and his team from Lisie Hospital used the services of the Indian navy by using their Dornier aircraft to transport the heart harvested from a patient in Thiruvananthapuram, about 210 km away, and reached back to Lisie Hospital in just 75mins. The roads were emptied by the police for the ambulance and it took them 20 mins from when they landed at the naval base.
He has received honours from state leaders and the cardinal as well. Kerala has plans to set up an air-ambulance system after how useful it was proven to be.
He was the first heart surgeon to commence a beating heart surgical program in Kerala. He is also the first surgeon in Kerala to perform Bypass surgery using arterial grafts and also TAR. Jose pioneered performing bypass surgery using arteries only. Yet another group of patients who due to lung diseases could not have their surgeries done were helped by a very novel technique called awake bypass surgery. This was done for the first time in Kerala by Jose. Bypass surgery is conventionally done under general anaesthesia, obstructing natural breathing and the patient would require a breathing machine (ventilator).
He has participated in more than 15,000 heart surgeries and has independently performed more than 10,000 surgeries. He has trained many surgeons who became senior consultants in many esteemed institutions in India and abroad. He has also performed a very large number of valvular heart surgeries and has performed the maximum number of tissue root replacements in India. He has not only helped to establish Open heart surgery as a commonly done procedure in Kerala, but has also helped various governmental hospitals in Kerala to establish Heart surgery facilities.
His charitable trust called the Heart Care Foundation helps government medical colleges in Kerala enabling poor patients to have heart surgeries done, by helping them financially. They also aim to educate the common people of India about the heart diseases. The Heart Care Foundation has multiple projects in operation. They have donated organs to various Government Medical College Hospitals. They have also conducted charity runs and mini-marathons and have organised the World Heart Day countless times. M. Beena, director, Fisheries was presented with the Social Excellence Award for her services in society as the district administrator.
This project is aiming at helping 1000 patients to undergo heart surgeries over 10 years at various Government Hospitals in Kerala. 100 heart operations are aimed every year. This project is aimed at helping the poorest of the poor. The project helps patients with heart ailments to be treated at various governmental hospitals in Kerala and SCIMST only. "Save a heart, save a life" is focused on educating people about the importance of Basic Life Support (BLS). Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) will be shown and taught to small groups all around Kerala so that the life support at basic level can be affected in times of need to save lives.
They also publish a quarterly publication of the Heart Care Foundation called 'Caring Hearts' carrying extensive information about heart diseases, its prevention, causes and tips and also covers the progress of the activities of Heart Care foundation on a regular basis. Their efforts have led to implementation of AED devices in the cochin airport. Heart Care Foundation organised a musical evening 'Hridyam' in connection with the release of the educational audio video album 'Mi Corazon" aimed at educating people about organ donation, basic life support and also to inculcate charity among young minds. to spread awareness on CPR and heart disease emergencies.
‘Hridayasamagamam' was a family get-together of those who had undergone bypass surgery organised as a rehabilitation programme by the Heart Care Foundation and the Lisie Hospital at the hospital.
The heart care foundation plans on creating a "Heart Village" where patients from around the country can clarify doubts to improve their psychological well-being.
Consultant and Head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Lisie Heart Institute, Kochi, Kerala, India chairman, Heart Care Foundation
Joint Secretary, Heart Failure Society of India
President, Quality Forum Kerala
Director, Kalabhavan Studios Ltd, Ernakulam
Trustee, Kalabhavan Talent Residential School, Kochi
Secretary of the Kerala Medical Association in 1981
National Organizing Secretary of the Indian Association of Cardiovascular Conference in 2005
An executive committee member of the Indian Cardio-Vascular Association for three years from 2005 to 2008
Mother Teresa Award, 2003
Lions Club Recognition Award 2003–2004
Karathur Markaz recognition Award
Lions Club Award Lifetime Achievement, 2004
Vocational Excellence Award, Rotary Club of Cochin West, 2005
Vocational Excellence Award, Rotary Club Cochin Harbor, 2003–2004
Vocational Excellence Award, Rotary Club of Alleppey, 2008
Vocational Excellence Award, Rotary Club of Aroor, 2008
Vocational Excellence Award, Rotary Club of Shertallay Town, 2009
Vocational Excellence Award, Rotary Club of Cochin Global, 2010
Indira Gandhi Award, Kuwait, 2006
Lion's International Merit Award, 2009
Alumni Association St. Thomas College Palai Award, 2009
Padmashri award 2011
Besides numerous medical and non-medical articles being published, he has presented a large number of clinical studies at the various national conferences. He has also written an educative book about heart diseases in Malayalam called 'HRIDAYAM' (The Heart).
Former National Security Advisor and Paschim Banga (West Bengal) Governor M K Narayanan felicitated Jose on winning the Padmashri award at a function organised by the Forum for Growth, Development and Progress (GDP), Kochi.
He spoke on the need for co-ordination between hospitals with elaborate heart care departments, at a press meeting on an uncommon multiple surgery on and introduced the orator. P.V. Louis for a speech on the need for accreditation of hospitals to ensure quality. He explained the need of bypass surgery in women and the need for the youth to take their health into consideration.
Several workshops on the various types of surgeries such as beating heart surgery and CPR have been conducted. He has also participated in many seminars on topics like ethics of health care in many prestigious institutions. He addressed the academic session on heart transplantation at a CME programme in Kottayam. He also presented a paper on the need of hospitals for women and children and a paper on hybrid perspective in the management of aortic aneurysm'.
The Forum for Growth, Development and Progress of Kochi honoured him for services. He was also felicitated by the Lisie Hospital and the Indian Medical Association. He was also felicitated at the Piravom Boat race in 2011.
Sudansu Bhattacharya performed a surgery on beating heart at the Lisie Heart Institute along with chief cardiac surgeon Jose Chacko Periappuram which was telecast live to the conference room at the Lisie Hospital, enabling over 25 cardiac surgeons from the state assembled there to discuss and clarify doubts.