One-year-old Madiha succumbs to bone defect after lifelong battle

Yet another baby’s life came to a halt after she lost a long battle against a congenital defect, for which the treatment costs were way out of the family’s reach. One-year-old Madiha, about whom MiD DAY did a series of stories, succumbed to osteopetrosis in Byculla’s Masina Hospital in the early hours of Friday.

Laid to rest too soon: Madiha developed an infection in the soft tissues around her hip bones in the last few weeks, and despite treatment, she couldn’t be saved

Madiha was diagnosed with the bone disease soon after her birth. Doctors had said the only cure was a bone marrow transplant. Despite her mother’s best efforts to collect funds -- Rs 40 lakh for the transplant -- doctors informed her a week back that even a transplant was impossible for Madiha as her bones had become far too fragile.

The baby’s mother, Shahista Sheikh (26), refused to lose hope even though none of her relatives’ bone marrow samples were a match for her child. Shahista said, “Though doctors were unsure about her long term treatment, I didn’t expect my daughter to succumb to her infections this early. All my efforts in saving her seem futile now.”

Madiha’s last rites were performed in Mahim on Friday afternoon. Shahista had lost her first daughter to the same hereditary defect, osteopetrosis, two years ago.
Dr Ashish Shah, paediatrician at the hospital who was treating Madiha said, “She had developed an infection in the soft tissues around her hip bones in the last few weeks due to which she had to be put on injections. However, she eventually succumbed to the infection.”

“She was also undergoing daily blood and platelet transfusions a her red blood cells count kept dropping dangerously low after each day. We had predicted that her long term prognosis was poor as it was far too late even for a transplant,” he added. 

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