Medical Miracles

Life saving bone marrow transplants

Bone marrow transplants have saved the lives of 1000s of South Africans. Certain illnesses occur when bone marrow is unable to function properly. Bone marrow produces our blood cells – red cells to carry oxygen, platelets to clot bleeding, and white cells to fight infection and create immunity.

For patients like teenager Ricky Lee Haman, diagnosed with the life threatening condition Aplastic Anemia, a bone marrow transplant was vital.

The problem is that bone marrow needs to be an almost exact tissue type match – far more complex than the normal blood group match and far more rare to find. Thirty percent of patients find the match within their family with a close blood relative. But for the remaining 70 percent who do not, the South African Bone Marrow Registry helps them find unrelated donor matches.

Tissue typing relies on genetic matching, therefore, it often is more successful within one’s ethnic group. Unfortunately the South African registry is still small and mostly white. So, for patients like Ricky Lee, with her mixed ethnic heritage the search for a match was much harder.

Luckily an American donor was found. The registry outlines their ‘military style’ operation in getting the essential bone marrow from donor to patient in the necessary 72 -hour window available. It’s a streamlined highly efficient procedure– and the bone marrow needs to get here on time no matter what obstacles they have to deal with along the way.

Barbara Friedman tells the story below...

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Mechanical heart device saves a ten-year-old boy

Mechanical heart device saves a ten-year-old boy

Philasande Dladla, the first child on the continent to undergo a lifesaving operation, receiving a Heartware Valve Assist Device.

Mechanical hearts and the heart valve assist device

Mechanical hearts and the heart valve assist device

For decades the world focused on donor heart transplants as the solution for a failing heart. That was until the HVAD came along!

Fibroid embolisation to save lives of millions of South Africa women!

Fibroid embolisation to save lives of millions of South Africa women!

Hear about a truly groundbreaking - and life changing - treatment that kills fibroids, with minimal invasion.

The world's first penile transplant successfully carried out in SA

The world's first penile transplant successfully carried out in SA

The partner of a young man who received the first donor penis soon fell pregnant and their got their first child.

How robotic surgery is being used to cure prostate cancer

How robotic surgery is being used to cure prostate cancer

Learn about a groundbreaking procedure from the Cape giving prostate cancer sufferers renewed hope.

How a toe-to-thumb transplant changed a man's life

How a toe-to-thumb transplant changed a man's life

A horrific accident sliced off a large part of a Cape Town man’s hand, leaving him with only one finger. Enter Dr Nick Kairinos...

Popular articles
Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa says text messages making the rounds asking beneficiaries to come and renew their Sassa cards is a hoax.

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

City of Johannesburg has urged residents to respect by-laws and the times set for fireworks to be used.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?