Madhu V S is a 16-year young jovial boy pursuing his 11th Standard in a small village named Vaddar Hundi near Mysore Karnataka. He is a magnificent volleyball player and his only desire is to become a police officer. He hailed from a struggling family whose livelihood is skilled labour of making farm tools by hand which is a diminishing occupation as machine tools have made their way. The entire family was involved in this and their life depended on earnings they made out of such handwork.
Little did they know a thunder would strike their family in the way of Severe Aplastic Anaemia (SAA) to their beloved youngest son Madhu. It all started with mild symptoms of fatigue and vomiting. They visited a local primary health care centre where he was treated for the symptoms. However, the illness prolonged for more than a week, and they decided to visit a hospital in Mysore where a series of investigations were performed. The doctors there speculated it to be TB or cancer but could not reach a proper conclusion on diagnosis. Finally, they were referred to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Bangalore where the condition was diagnosed as Severe aplastic anaemia – a failure of bone marrow to produce platelets. The news hit the family like a storm. The mother explained it was extremely difficult for the family to understand the medical terms and the situation of their son. Father exclaims that they did not know the way forward for him.
SAA can be fatal if treatment is not provided timely. It is a condition in which blood counts are extremely low and can lead the patient weak to fight life threatening infections. It is very important for Aplastic Anemia patients to receive a blood transfusion every week or15 days once depending upon the medical condition. In a lot of such cases, patients take their last breath even before any treatment is catered. Bone marrow transplant is the only hope of cure and survival. Chances of survival even after transplant is very less.
Madhu was going through a lot of sicknesses like fatigue, bleeding, dizziness. He had no idea what he had to fight in the near future. COVID -19 made situations worse for him as there was an acute shortage of blood everywhere. His elder brother had to donate blood as a replacement every 2 months.
While various multi-speciality hospitals were approached by the family for treatment, they realized that transplant is beyond their financial capability. Where they were expecting a miracle to happen, they heard about the Sankalp program for cure. They visited Sankalp’s BMT unit and learnt that with a transplant he may do well. It turned out that Madhu had a full HLA match with his older brother. He had to be posted to transplant urgently. While Madhu's parent's eyes were filled with tears recalling their financial status. The family was informed by the Sankalp team that irrespective of the family's social, financial situation, he would be offered BMT.
The transplant was done in July 2021 after a lot of pre-transplant procedures and consultations. The real fight just started. He had a near expected course during the transplant with minor complications. Madhu is discharged now and has engrafted well. He has won his battle against the deadly Severe Aplastic Anemia.
He is placed in a step-down facility provided by Sankalp nearby to the unit. He comes in once a week now for regular post transplant follow up.
Very soon Madhu will get back to playing volleyball and achieve all that he idealized to be in his life. We wish him and the family a happy life ahead.