Tejas survives after bone marrow transplant from mother

Barely a week after Tejas turned three on April 18 last year, he was diagnosed with blood cancer. Detected with a rare form of acute Myeloid leukemia, several chemotherapy sessions could not reduce the abnormal cancerous cells in the bone marrow.

Lack of donors with matching cord blood proved to be a painful year for little Tejas. With the help of a new technique, Haplo identical transplant, a 50 per cent matching bone marrow stem cells transplantation from mother Vidya was conducted. The mother and son are out of danger now.

"We suffered a lot. Two months after Tejas was diagnosed with the disease, I did not tell my wife as she would then not be able to attend to our one-year-old daughter," 35-year-old Shivaji Kulkarni who works as a farmer at Akkalkot tehsil of Solapur district told Newsline.

"Initially, he had persistent cold and local doctors could not provide relief. The nasal sprays were also ineffective. A haemogram was done which revealed the extent of the problem," recalls Kulkarni. The family which has rented a room for the last two weeks outside Ruby Hall Clinic has spent nearly Rs 9-10 lakh in the treatment and recent transplant.

"I have taken several loans for the entire treatment," said Kulkarni who prefers not to think about the expenses at present. The entire year has been devastating and the couple has been monitoring their son's platelet count and other parameters to ensure that he is fine. Huge boils on my son's face and neck, apart from other symptoms like breathlessness, continue to scare me, said Vidya.

It was only when their relative working at Ruby Hall Clinic advised them to go for a bone marrow transplant that they started chemotherapy sessions and other treatment. Dr Vijay Ramanan, founder of the Bone Marrow Transplant and Stem Cell Centre at Ruby Hall Clinic that has conducted 160 such transplants in the last four years (60 per cent being mainly on children with a variety of problems ranging from thalassemia to leukemia) said that chances of cancer recurring are just 10 per cent now vis a vis 60-70 per cent if the bone marrow transplant had not been conducted.

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