Mumbai, Apr 4 (PTI) Three Bangladeshi patients, suffering from an incurable muscular dystrophy, today underwent first stem cell therapy at a Navi Mumbai based treatment centre.
“We applied a simple therapy to the patients. We took out the stem cells from their bone marrow in the hip bone and after the required processing we injected it back into their body.
“We will wait for the results as to how they respond to such treatment. Meanwhile, physiotherapy and occupational therapy is being offered to them as well,” Avantika Patil, coordinator between the patients and the treating centre told PTI.
Patil, is part of the team of NeuroGen, a brain and spine institute that keeps the track of its patients.
“We learnt about the patients through an article in an international newspaper and decided to contact them as we specialise in treating such diseases.
“I am also in contact with one Noor Khan from Bangladesh, an activist who helped the three patients to furnish documents and visa procedures,” she said.
A Mumbai-based organisation specialising in such diseases, Meditourz, in collaboration with NeuroGen based in Navi Mumbai, offered to provide treatment to them.
The trio have been suffering from a rare disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy since their birth. This is a genetic disorder which causes progressive muscle degeneration and patients rarely live beyond 30 years of age, Patil said.
Among the three, Shorab (8 year old) is having a mild disorder and early medical intervention will definitely help in terms of less painful life. Compared to him, the disease is progressive in other two patients, she said.
Tofazzal Hossain, a fruit vendor from rural Meherpur in Bangladesh, had sought mercy killing for his sons – Abdus (24) and Rahinul (14) – and grandson Shorab from his government as he could not afford the cost of their treatment.
The Navi Mumbai based centre approached the three patients through Indian government and expressed willingness to provide treatment to the disease.
Air India also offered free round trip tickets to the six persons — three patients and three caretakers accompanying them to Mumbai from Kolkata following an appeal from Alok Sharma, neurosurgeon at the NeuroGen.
“The three patients and the three persons accompanying them took this evening’s Air India flight from Kolkata to Mumbai and will also return by an Air India flight after treatment – entirely free of any charges,” Air India said in a statement.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.