Life finally seems to be looking up for one-year-old Madiha Sheikh. A week after MiD DAY carried a story about her battle with osteopetrosis a life-threatening congenital disorder help has poured in from several readers across the city. Her parents, Shahista and Irshad Sheikh, have also got some aid from overseas. Irshad Sheikh, a tempo driver, who has had to sell most of his belongings for his daughter’s treatment, has already received Rs 2.54 lakh.
Adding to that, now, the doctors at Pune’s Sahyadri hospital have advised the parents to undergo tests to determine if their bone marrow matches with that of Madiha. If either of them is a match, the cost of the transplant will drop from Rs 40 lakh from an unrelated donor, to Rs 8 to 10 lakh. Dr Kannan Subramanian, consultant hematologist at Sahyadri hospital, said, “We suggested the parents to undergo the required test to reduce the cost of transplant. The problem with an unrelated donor is that there is no guarantee of finding a suitable match. Apart from that, it takes at least six weeks to complete the process.”
The success rate of the transplant with a related donor is around 70 per cent as opposed to 20 to 25 per cent with an unrelated donor. “The girl is already 15 months old. In the next three months, she is at the risk of going blind and deaf due to her disorder as it attacks the nervous system. Time is a major factor here and we can only pray that one of her parents is a match,” added Dr Subramanian.
Madiha is currently undergoing blood and platelet transfusions in Byculla’s Masina hospital every eight to ten days. “We have already spent thousands on her regular transfusions. Now, we have been asked to get tests worth around Rs 40,000 done to determine if one of our bone marrows is a match,” said Shahista, the mother. “Every day is important now and we’re trying to do our best to save my daughter’s life. A few donors have already come forward and contributed to the hospital and we are keeping our fingers crossed.” The parents will undergo the tests in one of the major city hospitals this week.
Lend a hand : Anyone willing to help in any way can contact Shahista Sheikh at 9987824228 / 9867935753