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After 17-years, thalassemia patient gets a fresh lease of life from a young professional through DATRI

DATRI is India’s largest unrelated blood stem cell donor registry

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DATRI recently organised an event to celebrate the selfless act of 30-year-old Mehul Korat, a professional from Surat. The event witnessed a meeting between Korat and the family of Siddharth Koyal, 18, a college student from Mumbai.

Koyal, who was diagnosed with Thalassemia Major when he was just four-months old, needed regular blood transfusions till he could find a life-saving blood stem cell donor. After his 12th grade, Koyal wanted to go abroad for graduation. However, his medical condition restricted him to do so. This is when the young lad was heartbroken and started looking for a permanent solution.

Koyal’s mother Sangita Koyal was volunteering with DATRI and learnt about the permanent cure for thalassemia through blood stem cell/bone marrow transplant. Her son found a donor match with DATRI and the transplant was done in November last year.

Korat, an employee of Sri Ramakrishna Export, registered with DATRI in 2016 during a camp held for a patient. In 2018, he received a call from DATRI informing him that he was a perfect match for a patient with a serious blood disorder. His family supported his decision to help save a life. Unfortunately, a day before the donation process, he met with an accident and was unconscious. But as soon as he recovered and got back to his senses, he went ahead.

“You are not important because of how long you live, but you are important because of how effectively you live.” said a beaming Korat.

Thanking Korat, Koyal said, “I do not have words to express my feelings; my family and me have waited for so long to meet the person whose selfless act has resulted in gifting me a new life. We are overwhelmed to meet Mehul bhaiya, who is now a part of our lives and will always be in our prayers. Thank you DATRI for finding this match and gifting me back my dreams.”

As per the registry protocol, the identity of donors and recipients are kept anonymous for one year. Post one year, as the recipient and donor expressed their desire to meet each other and doctors declared that Koyal was completely cured; DATRI facilitated the meeting between the two.

Dr Sunil Bhatt, Head of Department — Paediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Mazumdar Show Cancer Center, Bengaluru, said, “Relentless efforts of DATRI over the years have gifted lives to many of the patients. Nearly 27 of my patients have found their HLA-matched donors through DATRI. However, there are still many who can be saved if more volunteer donors can come forward to become blood stem cell donors.”

“An occasion like this is an additional motivation to work harder and make the registry grow. The joy that a recipient’s family receives and the satisfaction a donor expresses is a testimony for our efforts. As a registry, we are immensely motivated to spread the awareness on the significance of becoming a blood stem cell donor so that, many more lives can be saved,” says Raghu Rajagopal – Co founder, DATRI Blood Stem Cell Donor Registry.

DATRI is India’s largest unrelated Blood Stem Cell Donor registry. Only 41,427 donors are registered with DATRI as potential blood stem cell donors from Maharashtra which is very small as compared to the population of the state.

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