“The most painful experience for a mother and father is to see their child in pain and not be able to do anything about it,” shares Niraj Kumar, a humble farmer from Lakisarai.
Niraj ‘s son Abhinab, a 18 year old boy was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia a year ago. Ever since the diagnosis their life has gone through a radical change.
Born and brought up in a family of farmers, Abhinab was a healthy child, full of energy and enthusiasm. He was also a bright student at school and was exceptionally active in studies as well as extra-curricular activities. His humble background always motivated him to do something that would make his parents proud.
However, Abhinab’s dreams started to became a bit cloudy when he began to experience weakness, depression and didn’t feel like going out to play or exercise. Days became months as his weakness and depression continued to grow. This was also accompanied by some unusual symptoms of – fever & glandular swelling over cheeks, neck and the ears. Worried about their child’s continuously deteriorating health and loss of concentration, his parents consulted local doctors, who misdiagnosed him with mumps. Incorrect treatment compounded the issues and one day his blood tests revealed that his situation is definitely more than just mumps. With a hemoglobin of just 4 gm, leukocyte count of 1.5 lakh and abysmal platelet count of 40,000, his worried parents decided to consult specialists. Post recommendations from few doctors, they decided to come to Paras HMRI Patna.
Dr Shreeniwas Raut, Consultant Medical Oncology, post few tests, a bone marrow examination, flow cytometry, Immunophenotyping confirmed the diagnosis as Acute Leukemia.
According to Dr. Shreeniwas, “Such kind of diagnosis is not just difficult for the patient but also for the parents. It was advised that Abhinab would have to go through chemotherapy along with blood transfusion to boost his hemoglobin and platelet levels. The patient went through the advised clinical protocol for three months and responded well to the treatment plan.”
Just when his parents were getting back their hope, Abhinab had an episode of seizures due to a drug reaction and had to be hospitalized. It was diagnosed that he had suffered from Sagital Venous Sinus Thrombosis. Abhinab started to suffer from high grade fever and his treatment protocol had to be changed with anticoagulants, antiepileptic & antibiotics. “It was as if we would lose our son. Just when we had started to stabilize our lives, fate decided to strike us again,” shares Niraj, Abhinab’s father.
His treatment plan continued to have set backs with major herpes lesions, making him a non candidate for chemotherapy. Post recommendation with the tumor board, it was recommended that Abhinab goes through an Autologus Stem Cell Transplantation – a technology that could act as a replacement to chemotherapy and cut short the duration and toxicity of chemo. This was the first stem cell transplantation to be performed in Paras Patna.
According to Dr Shreeniwas, “Due to progressive infected lesions the patient was not a candidate for allogenic stem cell transplantation. At that time owing to possibility of high transplant related mortality the cons of allogenic transplantation outweighed the benefits. This was not just a first of Paras Patna , but also a first for Bihar & Jharkhand.”
Post 6 months of the stem cell transplantation, Abhinab has a new life. He is off intensive chemotherapy and is leukemia free. Moreover his blood count is near to normal and so is his life style. When you ask him how he is feeling, he smiles and says, “ I feel new! As if my entire body has been cleansed and built with love, compassion, care and trust. I owe my life to my parents, with whose persistent efforts I am alive today and to the doctors of Paras Patna because of whom I can be with the people I love.”