“When Wayat was born, we did not know if he would live for 4 days,” says the baby’s mother in the Kansas Children’s Hospital (USA), where the kid was treated, “and now the boy is 4 years old.”
Since birth Wayat had to fight for life because of a serious blood disease – congenital deficiency of the triosophosphate isomerase. This disease was discovered only in 1964, and since then the deficiency of triosophosphate isomerase was diagnosed only in 100 babies worldwide. Patients with this rare pathology suffer from anemia, infections, have neurological problems, muscle weakness, that can cause problems with breathing and heart action. In the world today only 4 people with triosophosphate isomerase deficiency are alive, and Wayat is one of them.
Within a few hours after birth, the skin of the boy became green. It took almost a year to confirm the diagnosis. The only possible treatment for a baby was bone marrow transplant, but the risk was overweighing the expected effect of this operation. However, the disease progressed, and the parents agreed to this.
But a few months after the bone marrow transplant, it turned out that the operation was unsuccessful. In 2015, the boy was performed the second transplant, this time hemopoietic stem cells were isolated from the peripheral blood, but the baby’s body again rejected the graft. Then the doctors recommended a cord blood transplant. The family of Wayat prayed for the success of the third transplant, and their prayers were heard. The child’s body accepted the umbilical cord blood cells and began to recover. After 4 months the baby was discharged home, although his condition was still complicated. Now Wayat is 4 years old, and he is a lovely boy who loves popcorn and ice cream.
Umbilical blood is a rich source of stem cells that can be used instead of bone marrow in the treatment of congenital and acquired disorders of blood, immunity, metabolism. In some cases, the therapeutic effect of cord blood transplant is better than that of bone marrow transplant, and stem cells of the umbilical cord blood are characterized by a lower rejection rate. In Ukraine, it is possible to preserve the umbilical cord blood and placenta at birth in the first Cryobank in our country, founded in 2003 at the Institute of Cell Therapy.