Cancer survivors celebrate hospital’s achievement

Apollo marks 1,000th bone marrow transplant

Manimegalai was pregnant and happy.

However, the joy of starting a family was short-lived for the 30-year-old Sub-inspector of the Commercial Criminal Investigation wing in Tiruvarur, when she went for treatment for high fever. A series of tests followed and she learnt that she had acute myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer.

All she wanted was to be treated and hoped that she could have a healthy baby. “My department was helpful. I have medical insurance which I used. The people in the district donated a day’s salary. All of this was pooled and my family sold some land for the treatment,” she said.

That was in 2012 and her baby, weighing 1.5 kg, was born through Caesarean section. She received an autologous bone marrow transplant and seven sessions of chemotherapy.

At an event organised by the Apollo Hospitals to mark the 1,000th bone marrow transplant performed by the institution, she said, “I am 100% cured of blood cancer.” Several patients from countries such as Tanzania, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also shared their experiences at the event.

Prathap C. Reddy, executive chairman of the Apollo Hospitals Group, said he had set up the hospital to enable middle class people who could not afford to travel to America for heart surgeries that could cost as much as $50,000. Today it cost about $3,500 in India, he said.

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