It is indeed re-birth for five year old Moinam Paul, a victim of hemoglobin E beta-thalassaemia, on whom doctors in Kolkata performed a mixed stem cell transplant using cord blood and bone marrow from his infant sister.
This is the first successful mixed stem cell transplant surgery to take place in India.
"This was the only chance we had to cure the boy when he was diagnosed with the condition and we didn't have time on our side," haemato-oncologist Ashis Mukherjee, the medical director of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute.
Dr Mukherjee and his team used the stem cells from two year old Ahoma, sister of Moinam, whose cord blood was stored during her birth for the purpose of using it later.
Since the tissues of the children matched, the mixed transplant was carried out on April 3rd
at the Park Lane cancer research institute in Kolkata.
During the initial stage of the procedure, existing bone marrow cells were destroyed using conditioning chemotherapy. The patient's body was then injected with the donor's stem cells from two different sources.
"Moinam's prognosis is good and after the first six months, when special care must be taken, he can go back to leading a normal, healthy life," said Mukherjee.