Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Two-year-old Jaisen Arul Selvan awaits a bone marrow transplant.
Two-year-old Jaisen Arul Selvan awaits a bone marrow transplant.

'Bubble boy' Jaisen to have transplant in India

A boy with a life-threatening immune system disease is undergoing preparations in India for a bone-marrow transplant that could save his life.

DUBAI // Jaisen Arul Selvan's mother is the only person allowed to visit him in an isolated hospital ward.

Before she can see her two-year-old son, however, she must put on special masks, gloves and footwear.

Jaisen needs a bone marrow transplant to survive a rare genetic condition that has compromised his immune system, leaving him in a sterile room in an Indian private hospital. Preparations for the transplant are underway.

"He keeps pulling off my mask to see my entire face. It is quite painful for him," said his mother, Prasinna Rajaseelan. Doctors decided to place the boy into a sterile environment after they learnt that his four-year-old sister, Janice, is a perfect match for the bone-marrow transplant.

He was diagnosed three months ago with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, a life-threatening disease that is also known as the bubble baby syndrome after the American boy David Vetter, who lived in a plastic, germ-free bubble.

Jaisen was admitted to the bone marrow transplant ward on Saturday evening, his mother said.

The family opted for the procedure in India, instead of a British hospital, where the treatment costs would have been much higher.

Family and colleagues have chipped in to raise money for the procedure, which is estimated to cost about Rs 40 lakhs (Dh329,000).

The Rajaseelans decided to have the transplant done in India after Jaisen's condition turned "critical" in the past few days.

Doctors plan to give him chemotherapy to destroy cells affected by an infection.

After that, stem cells from his sister will be injected.

Jaisen's transplant will be scheduled for a week after his infection is gone.

The disease affects about one person in a 100,000.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 The year-long project aims to create a form of social autobiography — the story of Dubai documented by those who know it best, the people who live there.

Zoom in! This is your Dubai in a single image

On our sixth birthday, we are all about pictures. So here is our #mydubai offering. Using zoom.it, explore the city.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National