Blood counts a lot for this Thalassaemic family

Blood counts a lot for this Thalassemia family
Thalassaemia, normally a genetic disease, made a surprise entry into Radhakrishnan and Aswathy's bodies though both were not blood relatives.
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Mankombu (Alappuzha): Blood ties are intensely strong. But this bonding is a bane for Ayurvedic massager Radhakrishnan and his four-member family who are afflicted by Thalassemia, a blood disorder that is passed down through generations. The situation is even graver in the case of his daughter Aiswarya, who has contracted Thalassaemia major, a very serious form of the disease that results in the depletion of red blood cells.

Radhakrishnan, hailing from Olloor in Thrissur, got acquainted with Aswathy in Chennai where both were working as Ayurveda massage therapists. They soon fell in love and decided to get married, not knowing about their inherent health disorder. The couple realised they had Thalassaemia only after their child was diagnosed with it. Aiswarya was diagnosed with the disease when she was just two-and-a-half-years old. After that the couple underwent a medical examination at a hospital in Kozhikode and were confirmed that both had Thalassaemia. Aiswarya was taken to Vellore hospital for advanced screening. Later, the family came to know that Aiswarya's brother Ram Krishna was also under the grip of the disease.

The whole family is now ensnared in the genetic disorder. Even though the expenses for blood transfusion are affordable, Radhakrishnan is finding it hard to foot the bills of other medical investigation and expensive medicines. The family stays in a rented house at Mankombu and both are jobless most of the days.

Aiswarya, 10, has so far undergone 70 sessions of blood transfusion. Now she awaits a bone marrow replacement which is not going to be a smooth ride. For that, one needs to scout for a bone marrow that matches above 90 per cent. Her primary cells are stored in a hospital in Kochi and the girl has been waiting for two long years for the transplant. Unless she undergoes a bone marrow transplantation, the girl should be subjected to blood transfusion once in every 3 months.

The critical issue for a person with Thalassemia is that the patient tends to lose a substantial amount of blood despite an alarming increase in iron content, says Dr Jayaram Shankar, the doctor at Alappuzha Medical College who treats Aiswarya.

The medication to treat the excessive iron content is costly. Well-wishers who wish to chip in with financial aid may contribute to K R Aswathy’s bank account with SBI, Mankombu branch. The details are account No: 67053694668; IFSC code SBIN0070090, Phone no: 88488 12215

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