58-year-old retired central government employee, Shridhar Bindiganavile is one among the four million people in the world to have the rare ‘Bombay Blood type’.
Don’t know the story behind this rare blood type named after the city of dreams?
Well, the year was 1952, when an injured railway worker and a stabbing victim needed a blood transfusion in Mumbai, then Bombay. The doctor trio treating them at the city-based Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College tried to match their blood with that from 160 donors but to no avail.
After much efforts, one resident in Mumbai proved to be a perfect match for the ailing patients. It was then that the doctors found this blood type was anything but rare. And that’s how this unknown and unidentified blood group was discovered. It was named after India’s maximum city as the ‘Bombay Blood Type’ or the HH Blood Type.
While the estimated number of people in the world with the Bombay Blood type is four million, in Mumbai, it is one in every 10,000 people.
But Shridhar B S, hailing from Bengaluru is one of the few good samaritans who not only possess this rare blood group but also helps others in need, across the southern states of India.
He donated his blood over 45 times so far and made headlines yet again when he travelled 200 kms–all the way from Bengaluru to Vellore in Tamil Nadu to save 35-year-old Simhadri Polaki, who suffers from thalassemia.
Simhadri used to work as a construction supervisor in Visakhapatnam. Originally from Paralakhemundi, near the Odisha-Andhra border, the man’s world turned topsy-turvy when he was diagnosed with thalassemia a month ago. It is a rare blood disorder that results in the abnormal production of haemoglobin.
When Simhadri’s haemoglobin levels dropped drastically, he was moved to a Vellore hospital for treatment.
His condition worsened on May 7 when his haemoglobin levels crashed to five gram per decilitre (the normal count is 12-16 gm/dl). His doctors suggested an urgent blood transfusion, but his blood group, being the Bombay Blood type, was very difficult to find.
But that did not deter his caretakers. They launched a massive hunt for prospective donors through blood banks and WhatsApp groups and were lucky to get connected to Bengaluru’s Shridhar.
Once contacted, it didn’t take Sridhar even 24 hours to reach Vellore from Malleswaram by train. After donating blood to Simhadri, the good samaritan returned home the same day.
Speaking to The Times of India, G Srinivas Rao, Simhadri’s caretaker said, “It was great of Shridhar to travel to Vellore and donate blood. Polaki requires two more units. He was constructing my sister’s house in Visakhapatnam. He was not aware of his rare blood type until a month ago when his condition worsened after getting O positive blood.”
Shridhar was informed about his rare blood type only in 2002. And though prospective donors are advised to donate blood only once in three months, Sridhar seems to have followed this suggestion the most, by donating his blood over 45 times.
He travels across southern states to different cities like Tirupati, Hyderabad, Chennai and Coimbatore to help beneficiaries, most of whom are suffering from cardiac issues, thalassemia and blood cancer.
We salute Shridhar for setting such an exceptional example and hope that Simhadri recovers from his condition too. Shridhar proves that some blood ties can go a long way in saving lives.
If this article piqued your curiosity about the rare Bombay Blood Type, read more about it here.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)