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Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Important news
Infant awaits bone marrow transplant
    2017-July-17  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

IN the ICU of the University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Hospital, a 6-month-old boy is waiting for a bone marrow transplant that will hopefully take place by the end of this month.

Zhong Zhiqiang was born to a family in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. His parents carry a mutated adenosine deaminase (ADA) gene. Zhong is suffering from severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID), meaning his body is incapable of resisting bacteria from the external environment.

This is not the first time that the family has faced such a difficulty. Zhong’s older brother, who was also diagnosed with SCID, died when he was only 6 months old in 2015.

Zhong appeared to be suffering from symptoms similar to his brother’s when he was not yet 1 month old. At a Guangxi hospital, he was found to have low white blood cell and NK cell counts. The boy was diagnosed with the disease in the Shenzhen hospital in February.

Zhong’s doctor, Mao Huawei, said that there was a 25-percent chance that the couple’s children would suffer from the disease. Both of their sons have been diagnosed, but the couple’s older daughter is healthy, although she has been reluctant to talk to her mother since the woman spends most of her time taking care of her son.

Mao also said that the disease can be prevented during pregnancy through a heart screening examination. The mother, surnamed Huang, said she regretted giving birth to her two sons since she didn’t know that she and her husband were carriers of the mutated ADA gene.

However, Zhong is lucky as the hospital has found him matching bone marrow through the Guangdong Cord Blood Bank. The boy will be as healthy as others if the surgery goes smoothly with no rejection.

However, it will cost the family between 300,000 and 500,000 yuan (US$44,286 and 73,810), which is a tremendous burden for the not-so-wealthy family from a small town in Guangxi.

The family has already spent more than 120,000 yuan on Zhong’s deceased brother and at least 400,000 yuan on Zhong. Through online fundraising platforms, the family has raised enough to pay for the boy’s treatment.

“We are grateful for those who have lent us a hand. Otherwise we would not have made it this far,” said Huang. Zhong’s father is the only breadwinner of the family. He supports the family by operating a barbershop in their town. (Zhang Qian)

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