Story #32 of 50 days, 50 Stories Campaign
When it says urgent counseling, that means the patient needs the Blood Stem Cells as early as possible. Unlike Blood Donation, a Blood Stem Cell Donation is not a spot donation but a planned donation. In Blood Donation, a voluntarily willing donor can go to the blood bank and undergo the donation procedure, with not much delay. Still, for Blood Stem Cell Donation, multiple steps and formalities are to be done, and it takes a minimum of 3 weeks from donor counseling to the actual Blood Stem Cell Donation. The first and most important step is a confirmation of the willingness of the donor within the favorable time frame for the recipient.
Since this donation is not widely familiar to the general public, it is common that they have Myths and FAQs and concerns on Blood Stem Cell Donation. When we approach a donor, disclosing their Donor Match to a patient. Most of the time, not only the donor but their closed ones also have confusion, and a couple of days will be given to the donor to clear the concerns and decide for donation. But when we have to rush to proceed with very urgent requests, donor confirmation should be as quick as possible.
Jayees was a match for a few month old kids diagnosed with Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a rare disorder in the development and function of infection-fighting immune cells. A Blood Stem Cell Transplant was urgent, and the only available hope of the treatment, and the Donor was assigned for counseling during Christmas week in 2020. Initially, I could not connect him in the given contacts. Jayees registered as a Blood Stem Cell Donor with DATRI during a donor drive at Logic School of Management, Calicut. Since it is an urgent request, I didn’t wait and Immediately connected with one of our volunteers, Muhammed Jasil, from the same Institute. We managed to connect the donor with support from the authorities of the Institute.
Jayees was all ready to proceed even if he was not fully clear about the donation procedure. During counseling, I spoke to him, explained details about the donation, and gave him a day to reconfirm his decision. His mother was a bit concerned initially. He has to travel from his hometown in Parappanangadi, Malappuram, to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi, for his Health Check Up and Donation. Hence one of his cousins traveled with him to Kochi as family preferred him not to travel alone. It was New Year Day 2021, and We took him to Kochi for Donor Health Check.
We were urgently following up with the lab to prioritize the reports. The next day, the hospital intimated that there are some logistics delays and a few tests reports would take more time. Since the donation was needed urgently, We arranged the same tests repeated for him from another lab. Jayees was at work and was not available to travel again, so We traveled to his place right away to collect a Blood Sample from repeating the tests. Reports were ready on time, and the Doctor cleared him for the donation process.
Jayees came to Kochi for his four-day – GCSF Injections, which is administrating to donors to bring stem cells into the bloodstream before donation. He donated his life-saving Blood Stem Cells.
“I never experienced a Blood Donation. When I came to know I’m the only match for someone, I had no choice rather than going ahead and donate my Blood Stem Cells. I feel happy and proud for my act of saving a life”. – Jayees
You can also save a life by donating your Blood Stem Cells to needy patients, Registering with DATRI, and giving them a second chance.
DATRI is a Not-for-Profit organization founded in 2009 with a mission to save lives of those suffering from life-threatening Fatal blood disorders like Blood Cancer, Thalassemia, Leukemia, Aplastic Anemia, Sickle Cell Anaemia, etc.
DATRI is registered with the Government of India as a Section 8 organization, and all monetary contributions towards DATRI are subject to 80G exemptions
About the Author:
Athulya Krishna is a Psychology enthusiast and Social Worker started volunteering with DATRI since 2015. She is now holding the role as a “Senior Associate – Donor Recruitment and Counseling” for Kerala. Being a Computer Science Graduate, Athulya was least intrested for a career in IT and finds passion in touching human lives. She is actively involved with creating awareness for Chronic Invisible Illnesses and Arthritis finds so connected with DATRI’s cause in finding someone’s final hope.