Nigerian kid's new lease of life after bone marrow transplant
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | November 25, 2014 Last Updated at 22:20 IST
A four-year-old Nigerian boy, who suffered from life-threatening sickle cell disease, has got a new lease of life after undergoing a rare bone marrow transplant here.
Ekundayo was diagnosed with the disease when he was just one year old and started having severe joint pain requiring frequent hospitalisation. The only option was bone marrow transplant.
This disease is an inherited disorder of haemoglobin and distorted (sickled) red blood cells are produced. When the number of red blood cells decreases from rupture (hemolysis), it results in anemia.
The irregular sickled cells can also block blood vessels causing tissue and organ damage and pain, doctors say.
Ekundayo's parents then brought him to Dr Gaurav Kharya at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital.
They opted for a haplo-identical transplant, a new transplant strategy, and the boy's father agreed to become a donor.
"Nathan was brought to the hospital in a serious condition with acute chest syndrome and complaints of severe joint pain. His sickle cell haemoglobin had increased to 88 per cent which worsened the condition further. Nathan was also prone to have life threatening stroke if we delayed treatment," said Kharya, senior consultant at BLK's Centre for Bone Marrow Transplant.
He explained that blood transfusion was given initially for two months to bring down his sickle level as direct transplant would have increased chance of rejection.
Post transplant he showed good recovery and new marrow started working on day 12. His chimerism (DNA testing) done on day 14 showed 99.45 per cent bone marrow precursor cells from his father, Kharya said.
He was successfully discharged on the 20th day, having sickle haemoglobin level decreased with 10 per cent post transplant.
"So far haplo-identical transplant in disease like SCD was very limited due to poor success rate. With improved strategies, we can get good results with relatively less complications," said Dr Dharma Choudhary, Director of the centre.