Three years ago, Rohit Gehlot, his parents, elder brother and two other relatives were on their way to a wedding, when their car met with a horrific accident. The incident in Rajasthan left his elder brother and two relatives dead, while Rohit’s spinal cord was severely damaged.
For the next three years, the young boy from Jaipur was bed-ridden, unable to attend school and couldn’t feel anything below his waist. Searching for a cure, Rohit’s parents scrambled to various hospitals in Jaipur, Udaipur and Delhi, but couldn’t find a doctor who would offer them any semblance of hope.
One day, however, Rohit’s mother Pooja came across Dr Pradeep Mahajan and his extensive work on stem cell therapy. It was a family relative living in Navi Mumbai, who reached out to Dr Mahajan. After reading up on all the facts of the case, Dr Mahajan agreed to admit eight-year-old Rohit into the Sanjyoti Hospital in the Vashi area of Mumbai on March 29.
Following a month and a half of therapy, Rohit can now walk with support, and according to The Hindu, “can feel his legs, and control his bowel and bladder movement”.
“Rohit underwent cell-based therapy to repair the damage to the nerves and muscles in the spine and was advised basic stretching exercises for his back, hips and legs. Following this, he was trained to stand with the help of callipers and a walker. The patient is now able to sit up on his own without back support, and takes steps with the help of walker while using callipers,” Dr Mahajan, a regenerative medicine researcher, Adigos Stem Cells, told The Hindu.
After the initial success of these therapy sessions, eight-year-old Rohit’s mother is hopeful for a complete recovery. “Once he fully recovers, I will request the school to admit him in Class 3 as he is a bright student,” she told The Hindu. Rohit, meanwhile, wants to go back to school and resume his studies.
The kid from Rajasthan was discharged from the hospital earlier this week, and Dr Mahajan is confident that with regular physiotherapy and practice he will walk on his own two feet again without any crutch.
What was remarkable about the procedure is that no surgery was involved. “The stem cell was taken from his bone marrow. If a person is healthy, his/her bone marrow is the best bank to get stem cells from,” Dr Mahajan said.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)