Doctors at a Noida hospital performed a difficult bone marrow transplant on an eight-month-old to save his life after it was discovered that he was suffering from a genetic disease. The baby, Mujib, is from Afghanistan, and two of his elder brothers had passed away due to the same disease, known as severe combined immunodeficiency.
When his parents brought Mujib to the hospital in February, he was suffering from high fever, pneumonia and diarrhoea, apart from his condition. Patients with this genetic disease are born without a functioning immune system. In such situations, they are at a risk of getting fatal infections and generally do not survive beyond childhood. Mujib’s two elder brothers, who had the same condition, too couldn’t survive due to lack of the required medical facilities in Afghanistan.
“After getting all the tests done at our hospital, the family found out that Mujib too is suffering from severe combined immunodeficiency that had affected their other sons. In his case, a bone marrow transplant was rare since only a few cases of successful haploindentical transplantation have been carried in the world,” said Dr Pawan Kumar Singh, associate consultant, Hemato – Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Department, Jaypee Hospital.
“Mujib had one surviving brother, Arian, 4, who did not have the disease. Arian’s blood tests confirmed normal lymphocyte counts so he could serve as a donor for his younger brother. But human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing showed that Arian was only a 50% match for Mujib. In severe combined immunodeficiency, the patient’s life can only be saved by a bone marrow transplant, but performing a half-matched transplant on an eight-month-old baby was itself a challenging task,” said Dr Singh.
“In this case, the procedure continued for almost a month. In the first stage, chemotherapy conditioning and serum were given to the baby to prepare his body to receive the donor’s bone marrow without the risk of rejection. This phase lasted for around 10 days. In the second stage, around 300 ml of bone marrow was taken from the donor in a 45-minute surgery and transplanted to the patient. It took around 20 days for Arian’s marrow to start functioning in Mujib’s body. During this time, the baby’s condition was critical and he needed a lot of support in the form of antibiotics, blood products and nutrition,” said Dr Esha Kaul, associate consultant, Hemato – Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Department, Jaypee Hospital.
Mujib has now returned to Afghanistan with the hope that he and his brother will go on to live a healthy life.
“When we brought Mujib to Jaypee Hospital, he was really ill. But the doctors assured us that if the bone marrow transplant is conducted in time, he can lead a normal life. Arian, my second grandchild was our only hope for the transplant, but after the tests we found that his bone marrow was only a 50% match. Thanks to the expert team of doctors who performed this successful transplant, Mujib is out of danger and recovering,” said Yousafi, his grandfather.