In a rare, and daring, half-matched transplant, doctors have ensured life for an Afghan baby
An eight-month-old Afghan boy was saved after he underwent a rare half-matched bone marrow transplant at Jaypee Hospital, Noida. Mujib suffered from severe Combined Immunodeficiency in which a person is born without a functioning immune system, increasing his or her risk of developing fatal infections and as a result, also had high fever, pneumonia and diarrhoea. Mujib’s two elder brothers had already lost their lives to this illness in their infancy. Doctors at Jaypee Hospital conducted bone marrow transplant from his one surviving brother Arian, aged four years, whose blood tests confirmed normal lymphocyte counts, so he could serve as a donor for his younger brother. But Arian had only 50 per cent match with Mujib.
“In severe Combined Immunodeficiency, the patient’s life can only be saved by bone marrow transplant but performing a half-matched bone marrow transplant on an eight-month-old baby was a hugely challenging task,” said Dr Pawan Kumar Singh, Associate Consultant at Jaypee Hospital. The human immune system has white blood cells called lymphocytes which protect the body from infections. Before the transplant, Mujib had almost zero lymphocytes in his blood.
“After the transplant, his lymphocyte count has approached normal and is expected to continue to improve over the next several weeks. Mujib can now lead a normal life like other kids without the risk of fatal infections,” noted Esha Kaul, Associate Consultant at Jaypee Hospital.
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