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Fitting reply to rare disease

A six-year-old boy, afflicted with a rare disease that is said to strike one person in a lakh, is cured and smiling, thanks to doctors at Mercy Hospital in Baridih.

According to the medical team that treated B. Kaushal Rao, the child was suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system, with cranial nerve palsy.

Son of railway employee P.S. Rao and a resident of Chandil in Seraikela-Kharsawan, Kaushal is the first instance of successful treatment of this killer disease in the state.

Kaushal, who displayed early symptoms of paralysis on May 23, was rushed to Mercy Hospital where he suffered a massive cardio-respiratory attack. He was immediately admitted to the ICU.

Then followed a long period of tests. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis (through a lumbar spinal puncture) results showed that he had a high protein level without an accompanying increased cell count.

Thereafter, Kaushal was administered intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg), to neutralise the harmful antibodies and inflammation causing disease and given steroid therapy along with antibiotics. Anti-psychotic drugs were given after a month to lift his mood.

The treatment cost set Kaushal’s family back by lakhs, but no one minded.

“The total cost was close to Rs 2.15 lakh, as the treatment was done in the ICU,” chief pediatrician and intensivist Subhajit Banerjee, who has been treating Kaushal, said.

“Money doesn’t matter. We had given up hope. But, the prayers of our well-wishers and miraculous efforts of doctors have given our son new life. He is now able to move and speak. Doctors say full recovery will take another six months,” Kaushal’s mother Bhagya Lakshmi said.

Doctor Banerjee couldn’t agree more with her.

“Recovery from this disease is nothing short of a miracle. We took it up as a challenge despite resource constraint. The child was on ventilator for nearly 36 days and has recovered,” said Banerjee.

Currently, Kaushal is undergoing physiotherapy sessions at the hospital to regain muscle strength.

Doctors say the auto-immune disease caused by viral infection produces antibodies against one’s own tissues and affects nerves in the spine leading to muscle paralysis. If not treated within four to five days, the patient dies.


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