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This Man Flew in from Dubai to Donate his Stem Cells to a Complete Stranger

In times like these when we don't trust our very neighbour, it is heartwarming to see a man flying from Dubai to Ahmedabad to donate stem cells to a complete stranger, a young girl called Priya. The man is Gopal Vachhani.

Gopal Vachhani is 44 years old and is a resident of Ahmedabad. He had registered for being a stem cell donor in 2013. That’s not really a big deal, because quite a few registered donors back out at the last moment, leaving critical patients in a fix.

But Vachhani flew in from Dubai, especially to be able to donate the stem cells that he had committed.


vachhaniPhoto source:

Seven-year old Priya Shah has been suffering from Thalassemia. She was forced to drop out of school because of her condition and was recommended a stem cell transplant. However, her real troubles came when none of her family members turned out to be a match for the donation. In some situations, matches can be found in complete strangers and that is what happened.

Mr. Vachhani was a perfect match and he did not blink an eyelid before coming to Priya’s rescue. An allogenic-matched unrelated donor transplant took place, saving Priya’s health and life.

Transplant surgeon Dr Chirag Shah said to TOI ,”Most matched registered donors back out, leaving critically ill patients in the lurch. It is heartwarming to see donors like Gopal.”

The exchange happened through the DATRI stem cell donor registry. With this donation, DATRI completed its 100th unrelated blood stem cell donation.

Raghu Rajagopal, co-founder and CEO, DATRI, highlighted the significance of Vachhani’s move by giving statistics that out of 20 million registered donors, there are only 1 lakh in India and some do back out. But Mr. Vachhani did not.

Both Priya and Vachhani will be able to meet only after a year post the donation, according to the donor policies.

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