Lady from Uganda gets rid of a Prolonged Illness After Successful Therapy for Aplastic Anemia - Medx Health Assistance

Lady from Uganda gets rid of a Prolonged Illness After Successful Therapy for Aplastic Anemia

Story of Ikupa Anselm

Being a proud mother of two and living a healthy life, Ikupa, a 51-year-old lady from Uganda never thought she would have to deal with so much in life. When she turned 50, like anybody else she thought now she will enjoy complete family time and relax. But little did she know that it was just the beginning of a painful phase of her life. Ikupa started feeling tired soon and had complaints of headache with on and off fever and cough. She used to take antibiotics but it was not helping her much.

She had shortness of breath and recurring flu-like symptoms. Her symptoms got severe and finally, she decided to consult at a local hospital in her native Uganda. The local doctors examined her and she underwent blood tests. It was diagnosed that Ikupa had Aplastic Anemia.

Aplastic anemia is a condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells. The condition leaves you fatigued and more prone to infections and uncontrolled bleeding. A rare and serious condition, aplastic anemia can develop at any age.

To relieve Ikupa from severe fatigue, control bleeding, and raise red blood cells in her bone marrow, Ikupa underwent blood transfusions. She received 8 units of Red Blood Cells (RBC) and 16 units of random donor platelets.

Due to the unavailability of a specialized hematological medical facility in Uganda, it was tough for Ikupa to find a permanent solution to her condition. Her doctor advised her to go to some other country and get the proper treatment done.


Support By The MedX Health Assistance

Ikupa was in a lot of pain for months so her family began the research for the medical tourism option as recommended by the local doctors. Ikupa’s husband said, “I was very much worried seeing her go through painful blood transfusions. She needed the best hematological treatment as soon as possible. I would leave no stone unturned to make her healthy again.” A ray of hope came to Ikupa when they came across the MedX health assistance. Her husband contacted the MedX local office in Uganda. The MedX team assured Ikupa of the best possible treatment at the best hematological health facility in India. 

Her reports were shared with a hematologist at Artemis hospital, one of the best hospitals in Gurgaon, India. Ikupa and her husband were ready to travel for the treatment. The MedX team explained to them that her treatment might continue for a few months. Their arrangements were done accordingly. The MedX team supported Ikupa with the medical visa, accommodation near the hospital, and other requirements to make her stay comfortable.


The Treatment Plan in India

Ikupa was urgently admitted to the Artemis hospital under the best hematologist and their expert team. The relevant investigations were initiated. Her bone marrow examination revealed that her bone marrow was in multiple fragments and hypocellular marrow spaces. She had a high-grade fever. She underwent a CECT scan for the chest and abdomen to look for any focus of infections but the report was normal. She was stabilized with medicines and was discharged with the further treatment plan which was to be initiated after 5 days.

Ikupa stayed in accommodation near the hospital arranged by MedX. There were regular visits from the doctors. She was again admitted to the hospital for immunosuppression by Anti thymocyte globulin (ATG) Cyclosporine (CSA) and Revolade or Eltrombopag based therapy.

Under this therapy regimen, the standard immunosuppression therapy is combined with Eltrombopag.

Acquired aplastic anemia results from immune-mediated destruction of bone marrow. Immunosuppressive therapies are effective, but reduced numbers of residual stem cells may limit their efficacy. In patients with aplastic anemia that was refractory to immunosuppression, Eltrombopag, a synthetic thrombopoietin-receptor agonist, leads to clinically significant increases in blood counts.

The therapy continued for two days; she was responding well. But on the second day morning, her heart rate was slow as she had sinus bradycardia. She was referred to a cardiologist. The Cardiologist advised for the observation and that she needs rest before undergoing any further intervention. 

Her husband said, “Everything was happening fast, she was responding well and there were signs of improvement as far as being a layman I could understand. I was satisfied by the level of care Ikupa was being given. The benefit of such a state-of-the-art multispeciality hospital is that every specialty is present under one roof and patients can be treated with a 360-degree approach. I wish my country Uganda had such developed medical facilities too.”

As per the cardiac referral, Ikupa was discharged so that she can take a rest. After a week she was again admitted for further management. Baseline investigations revealed her hemoglobin level and platelet counts were a little better. Hepatitis C, E were negative but she was Icteric (Jaundice). Because of the yellowish discoloration of her eye, she underwent ophthalmology tests that showed she had right eye pterygium or a presence of mucous membrane that covered the white part of the eye. She was asked to continue wearing her glasses.

She was started on cyclosporin, an immunosuppressant medication. Her abdominal X-ray showed fecal load so she was given laxatives. She was also supported by blood products. During her stay, there was only one spike of fever which was managed by antibiotics. 

Ikupa showed remarkable improvements. Her urine culture tests were normal. She was pain-free and stable. And it was decided that Ikupa can finally be discharged and fly back to her country after prolonged treatment for five months. She was given proper instructions and precautions she needs to take after the discharge. She was advised to monitor her complete blood count, and undergo kidney and liver function tests twice weekly. She had to follow-up with the local hemato-oncologist.


Life After The Treatment
Ikupa was slowly regaining her pace and lost hope. She had to visit India after six months for a follow-up which will be arranged by the MedX team.
Thanking the MedX team and team of doctors who guided her and supported her in the most critical part of her life, Ikupa said, “it’s been an emotionally and physically draining phase for me. My poor health condition has not only impacted my life but the lives of my husband and children too. I can’t wait to fly back to Uganda and spend the rest of my life normally. I got a new lease on life because of the MedX team.”


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