Children with SCID have virtually no immune system to fight common viruses and fungus, and die before their first birthday without a bone marrow transplant, said Dr Prashant Hiwarkar
MUMBAI, Feb 25 (The CONNECT) - A team headed by Dr Prashant Hiwarkar performed a successful life-saving Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) on a 13-month-old baby boy with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) at Wadia Hospital here. The baby received the bone marrow from his grandmother as a donor, went home fit and fine.
Hyderabad-based couple Raziya Sayed (29) and Karrar Ali (33) became proud parents to a baby boy Mohammed Khizr born on December 24, 2019. Their happiness was short-lived as the baby would get fever and cough every alternate day. After giving medications prescribed by the paediatrician, Khizr's fever and cough would subside for a few days. Several tests conducted in the local hospital failed to provide a correct diagnosis. However, the patient was referred to Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital For Children wherein his life was saved.
Dr Hiwarkar, Bone Marrow Transplant Physician, said, “The patient was evaluated for immune deficiency in his first admission of August 2020 while in the paediatric ward. He was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) on September 4, 2020. It is an inherited primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) that is seen in infancy; a genetic defect that affects the T cells. Children with SCID have virtually no immune system to fight common viruses and fungus, and die before their first birthday without a bone marrow transplant. Though primary immunodeficiencies are considered to be rare, 1 in 100,000 people can be immunodeficient and life-threatening immunodeficiencies can be completely cured with a bone marrow transplant."
After motivating his parents, he was planned for a bone marrow transplant, but the road wasn’t easy. On admission, he was diagnosed with pneumocystis pneumonia, a rare severe infection leading to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). He was on the ventilator for 14 days and developed life-threatening viral and bacterial infections. The patient was stabilized with the help of anti-microbial medications.
Khizr was shifted to bone marrow transplant unit after achieving good control of infections. All the organs were evaluated before transplant and were found to have normal function. After treating with chemotherapy for four days, Khizr underwent a successful stem cell transplant at 11 months of age from his HLA-matched grandmother. The new immune system from the transplanted stem cells started to function after 16 days.
Khizr’s bone marrow graft is working well and all his affected organs are functioning normally. After discharge, Khizr will be followed up closely in Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children till complete recovery of immune system. It takes about six months to a year for complete recovery of T cells. Parents have been advised to avoid contact with those who have viral illness and avoid going to crowded places till complete recovery of immune system.
Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospitals said, “Most children with SCID either die before diagnosis or are diagnosed late. Wadia Hospital started a BMT unit in 2019, and in less than 2 years, the team has transplanted some rare and difficult immunodeficiency disorders with a more than 90% success rate.”
“Our world turned upside-down when Khizr was diagnosed with SCID. We were in tears and could not see our baby in pain. We are thankful to the doctors at Wadia Hospital for giving a new life to our baby. He is achieving milestones of his age. We will go back to Hyderabad when Khizr does not require frequent hospital follow up,” said a happy mother Raziya Sayed.