Acibadem International: Miracles during pandemic

Miracles during pandemic

BABY KUZEY – A LITTLE HERO OF BIG DISEASE

Three-year-old Kuzey, the son of Şengezer Couple, residing in Adana, sought medical attention for fever. The family presented to Acıbadem Adana Hospital and their son, Kuzey, was diagnosed with “Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia” in the light of the tests and the real marathon started thereafter. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, abbreviated as ALL, is somewhat cancer of blood and bone marrow. It originates from the bone marrow and involves the white blood cells. It is the most common type of childhood cancers. Symptoms are characterized with sudden-onset and ALL progresses rapidly. For the patients diagnosed with ALL, starting the treatment immediately is very critical to prevent progression. 

Professor Bülent Antmet, Director of Pediatric Bone Marrow Center in Acıbadem Adana Hospital, and his team started Kuzey on treatment immediately. First, Kuzey received chemotherapy, but he required Bone Marrow Transplantation – the only curative option for ALL. Bone marrow screening was started first in TÜRKÖK and then worldwide. 

A match donor (90%), Andreas residing in Chania City of Crete Island in Greek, was found in early April, 2020. However, bone marrow could not be obtained since all flights have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Efforts of stem cell banks in Istanbul and Athens were supported by the Ministry of Health and thus, bone marrow could be taken from the 35-year-old donor residing in Crete and transferred to Istanbul followed by Adana by land based on a special approval. 

Stem cell were stored at -170 C and transplanted to Kuzey in a procedure that lasted for 1.5 hours by Professor of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Bülent Antmen and his team at Acıbadem Adana Hospital on May 20th after the donor was quarantined and Covid-19 was tested negative.

Staying at the hospital for 2 months following the transplantation, Kuzey was discharged in healthy status in early July. Considering the risk of relapse, Kuzey will befollowed up by Bülent Antmen and his team for 3 years. 

SEREEN – MY DAD, MY HERO

Sereen Amirah, a 5-year-old from Jordan, was lately diagnosed with Biliary Atresia. Also known as extrahepatic ductopenia, this syndrome is a childhood disease of the liver in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked or absent. If this condition is not diagnosed early, it will lead to liver failure. 

Unfortunately, this is what happened with Sereen, and the only effective treatment for her is a liver transplant.

At the time of coronavirus pandemic, Sereen and her family had to apply for a special permission to travel to Turkey in order to perform the surgery.  The team of Organ Transplant Center in Acıbadem Atakent University Hospital in Istanbul has completed successfully the surgery on July 21. Sereen and her father, Mr. Salman Jameel Hassan who donated a piece of his liver to save his daughter are healthy and will stay some days in the hospital for routine control.

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