First bone marrow transplantation surgery to a child performed at Tishreen Military Hospital

Damascus, SANA- Undaunted by the long years of terrorist war which Syria has passed through and the novel Coronavirus pandemic “Covid-19” as well as the difficulties and challenges facing  the medical cadres who are standing in the frontlines in the face of the pandemic, qualified experts in Syria haven’t been dissuaded from providing qualitative scientific medical achievements that serve patients and give hope for recovery, and the latest of which has been the success of the first bone marrow transplantation surgery for a child at the Tishreen Military Hospital in Damascus.

” Four-year-old, Taim Shaduod, has been suffering from aplastic anemia. He got his hope of recovery from his sister Lin who is 5-and-a-half-year-old as she donated stem cells for him,” Dr. Suleiman Suleiman, Head of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Department and a specialist in hematology and marrow bone transplantation told SANA.

 Regarding the steps of the operation, Dr. Suleiman said that it began by studying the case of the donor (the patient’s sister), which represented a great challenge that was overcome thanks to the competence of doctors and technicians as she is a young child, while the device from which the stem cells harvesting session took place is intended to harvest these cells from adults, but  due to the in-depth study and the follow-up, and accurate laboratory and clinical examinations conducted  by Dr. Amjad Esmandar, who followed up  the case of the child and the donor, the medical staff obtained a very good amount “about 20 million cells per kilogram, then 10 million cells were taken and infused to the patient,”

Dr. Suleiman noted that the method used to donate was through the peripheral blood harvesting device stem cells “Fresenius” and it is considered one of the most modern methods and has the least side effects, adding that its long-term results are better than others and never affect the health of the donor while in the surgical harvesting of stem cells from the bone marrow and not from peripheral blood, the donor suffers from surgical problems such as the pain.

Dr. Suleiman mentioned that on the 30th of last July, Taim got out of the hospital without any clinical symptoms, with the return of blood elements, and the function of the kidney and liver to their normal status, and the child was provided with a health checkup plan at the hospital at a rate of two visits per week for clinical and in vitro evaluation that will last for a one month after the transplantation, which is the first period to evaluate the success. On August 9, the tests showed that 92 percent of the cells in the child, Taim, are from his donor’s cells, namely his sister Lyn, which proves the success of the operation.

Meanwhile, Dr. Balsam Maihoub, a pediatrician who is specialized in the field of hematology and  bone marrow  transplantation in children from Italy, said: “The child was medically diagnosed with plastic anemia and depends on the periodic blood transfusion and all his blood cells are deficient and the condition was severe and he was taking immunosuppressive drugs without any improvement in his case which requires a transplantation of the bone marrow in the event that there is a matching sibling. ”

Dr. Maihoub considered that the peculiarity and success of this pioneering experiment is a great achievement as transplantation of marrow bone in Syria has become a necessity for children and it opens new horizons and hopes for them to be cured, as in cases of thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, and a plastic anemia and there are many tumors that require bone marrow transplantation.

The happiness and pride due to the success of that qualitative medical achievement was accompanied by the joy of Taim’s parents, as Bilal Shaduod, the child’s father said while embracing his son: “Thanks to God and the efforts exerted by the medical and nursing staff, the operation was successful and the improvement is clear and it is something we dreamed of after a long suffering with illness.”

Taim’s mother Mrs. Ibaa, said that after consulting with doctors at Tishreen Hospital, a bone marrow transplantation surgery was recommended by the doctors as we have worked to prepare his sister Lyn psychologically to be the donor due to her young age, and we have encouraged and supported her to be able to help her brother, expressing thanks and gratitude to the entire medical and nursing staff at the hospital.

Manar Salameh/ Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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