Baby Zhao was diagnosed with Very Early Onset Irritable Bowel Syndrome, VEO-IBS, just a few days after she was born. This worried Zhao’s parents because they lost their previous daughter to the same disease when she was just a few months old.
VEO-IBS is caused by an inherited genetic mutation and is not easily or successfully treated with medications. While some medications may help with mild relief for symptoms, patients are usually severely malnourished and experience pain and discomfort due to intestinal abscesses and fistulas.
Dr. Huang Ying, MD PhD, the director of the Digestive Disease Department at Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in China where Zhao was being seen, believed in only one solution: a stem cell transplant.
Zhao had a stem cell transplant at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in 2015. Because Zhao’s treatment was successful, doctors decided to treat eight other children with her same condition. The transplants were performed with reduced chemotherapy condition to lessen the toxicity of the procedure for the patients.
A few months following her stem cell transplant, Zhao has experienced normal intestinal function and, according to her parents, was finally able to put on some healthy baby weight!
As a parent, the health and well-being of your newborn baby becomes top priority. Motherly (and fatherly) instincts kick in so you can provide your baby with everything they may possibly need. Seeing your baby suffer in pain because of a genetic condition can be overwhelming, but knowing you have your baby’s stem cells stored away can give you some reassurance, just like it did for Zhao and her parents.
Cord blood stem cells carry great scientific value. Not only have stem cells been used to treat certain diseases, they’ve also cured many diseases as well.
Find out more about cord blood stem cell banking.
Read Zhao’s story here.