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Baby Isha gets a new lease of life after a stem cell transplant surgery at Apollo Hospitals Ahmedabad !

Date: 09 May 2011

Four-yr-old Isha, who was diagnosed with thalassaemia major, underwent stem cell transplant surgery at Apollo Hospitals Ahmedabad.

Doctors told the parents, Mansukh Gohel & Kanchan that she will have to undergo regular blood transfusions to stay alive. The couple was disheartened but instead of crying about the situation, decided to fight for their daughter's better life. Mansukh and Kanchan had brought Isha to Apollo Hospital in Ahmedabad, seeking a new lease of life for their daughter who had had been receiving blood transfusions since she was 18 months old.

Dr Chirag Shah, who consulted the case, advised a stem cell transplant surgery, the only curative option for thalassaemia major. ""After diagnosing Isha, we found that the four-year-old was a Class 3 thalassaemia major case, which was a major challenge for us. Such patients are not usually advised to undergo this surgery,"" said Dr Shah.

The first step to Isha's treatment was to reduce her iron overload which required extensive iron chelation medicines and regular follow-ups. In January, a minor operation was performed to remove her spleen. A small biopsy from her liver showed very high levels of iron deposition (4+ which is the highest level). There were signs of liver damage, too. In February, she was put on a special protocol of medicines to reduce her risk of being Class 3, which went on for over a month.

She underwent the surgery in April. The donor was her brother Pratik who is now two and a half years old. Soon the couple, who faced financial difficulties during Isha's treatments, got the news that her stem cell transplant had succeeded. ""Isha was given special medicines to clear her old blood-producing stem cells. Transplant was then performed, wherein Pratik's stem cells, collected from his bone marrow, were transplanted in her,"" said Dr Shah.

Isha is now on the road to recovery and would be transfusion-free forever in a couple of months, assured Dr Shah.

 
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