Boy cured of thalassaemia meets saviour

At just four-months, Yoka diagnosed with the deadly disease; put under regular blood transfusion for six years

Published: 14th September 2017 01:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2017 12:14 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: It was a special day for young IT professional B Chaitanya from Hyderabad. The lifesaver of seven-year-old Yoka Sarwesh from Tamil Nadu greeted the child for the first time on Wednesday.Yoka’s life changed after he received Chaitanya’s blood stem cells and since then, the child did not need blood transfusion. In an event organised by Datri organisation, which connects donors of stem cells with recipients, Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas Rao congratulated B Chaitanya for this novel step.

Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas Rao congratulates
Chaitanya who donated his stem cells to 7-year-old
Yoka Sarwesh; Yoka’s mother Rati Devi breaks
down on Wednesday | R V K Rao

Yoka hails from Dindigul, Tamil Nadu and was diagnosed with thalassaemia when he was just four months old. Since then, he was put under blood transfusion for over six years, until he found the matching donor.
Rati Devi, mother of Yoka, said, “I was shattered when I got to know that my son has thalassemia. For almost six years, we hunted for a matching donor. Being his parents, even our stem cells didn’t match. 

Almost 20 people, comprising friends and relatives, opted to be donors, but neither of their cells matched Yoka’s. We came across a donor after two years of diagnosing, but his health condition didn’t permit transfusion. For almost four years, we waited and at last with the help of Datri, we came across a perfect donor and all went smoothly. Six years after the Yoka’s birth, we finally had a smile on our face. Today, after meeting the donor, I saw the messenger of god.” said Rati Devi, who broke down while recalling her gruelling moments.

Chaitanya, a 32 year-old IT professional, came across Datri in 2012, through an awareness session. In 2016, he received a call from Datri informing him that he was a perfect match for a child with a blood disorder. Immediately, he responded positively and came forward to donate stem cells.
“I was very happy to hear that I was a potential match for someone. With strong support from my family and the thought of saving a life, I donated stem cells. Now, after meeting Yoka, I can’t express my happiness in words seeing him happy and healthy. This is certainly one of the biggest joys of my life and I would really encourage people to become donors and save lives.” said Chaitanya.

Just similar to Chaitanya and Yoka, thousands have registered with Datri, seeking matching donors for blood-related illnesses. Over one lakh donors are registered with the organisation to offer their stem cells and bone marrow to recipients.Raghu Rajagopal, CEO of Datri, said, “As per the registry protocol, identity of the donors and recipients are kept confidential for an year. After completion of an year, we make them meet with each other, and stand as an example for inspiration for many more donors to come forward and register.”

Speaking on the occasion, minister Kamineni said, “It is really a great effort by Datri, which is connecting donors and recipient and saving the lives of many people suffering with deadly diseases like blood cancer and thalassemia. We are ready to offer full support to such organisations and I request people to come forward and register with Datri and become stem cell donors.”

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