An eight-year-old from Shivamogga who was suffering from thalassemia was wrongly diagnosed and was said to be suffering from anaemia when he was six. The boy underwent weekly blood transfusions at a hospital in Shivamogga for anaemia. This increased the iron content of his body. Observing that the weekly blood transfusions were not helping the boy, the hospital conducted a genetic test, it was proven that the boy was suffering from Thalassemia.

Due to the earlier treatment, the iron content in his body had increased, which posed a threat to his heart and could even cost him his life. The doctor then advised the parents to go for a bone marrow transplant and the test for the first match for stem cells were his siblings and parents.

“The parents and his siblings bone marrow did not match completely. HIs parents were a half match. We wanted someone who is a full match. We tried looking throughout India but we couldn’t get anyone. Since his parents were half a match, we asked them to undergo the procedure but they were reluctant as the success rate was not as good as a full match.”

~ Dr Anand Kumar, Consultant Pediatric Oncology & BMT, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road.


After a few months, the parents finally got a donor – A 45-year-old lofe saver from the UK who was a full match for the boy.

“We kept searching for donors and it was through registrar firms that we got a donor from the UK, who was healthy and could donate his stem cells,” said Dr Kumar.

The donor was given an injection to increase his stem cells which were shipped to Bengaluru at minus 4 degrees Celsius. “ The transplant was successful and soon the boy was fine & free from Thalassemia”

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