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After PM advice,stem cell therapy abroad for Dasmunsi

After his love,football; his passion,music; ayurveda,homoeopathy,and the yogic prescriptions of Swami Ramdev failed to awaken...

Written by J.P. Yadav | New Delhi |
November 2, 2009 4:57:11 am

After his love,football; his passion,music; ayurveda,homoeopathy,and the yogic prescriptions of Swami Ramdev failed to awaken Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi,his family has now put its faith in stem cell treatment.

The 62-year-old former Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting,who has been unable to speak or recognise anyone for over a year now,was flown to Germany in the early hours Saturday. The advice to try stem cell treatment came from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,Dasmunsi’s wife Deepa told The Indian Express.

Dasmunsi was taken by a commercial airliner to Frankfurt by Deepa,now Congress MP from Raiganj,Dasmunsi’s brother Asim Ranjan Dasmunsi,and some close aides. From Frankfurt,he was driven to the XCell-Center,an institute for stem cell transplantation,at Dussseldorf,some 200 km away. A team of doctors led by Dr Ben Pfiffer will start treatment on Dasmunsi from Monday.

Dasmunshi was paralysed after suffering a massive stroke in October last year. He was admitted to AIIMS and later to Apollo Hospital. He remained on life support,and was diagnosed with a complete failure of the left ventricular system,which resulted in a swelling of the lungs. The result was a reduction of oxygen supply to parts of the body,known as hypoxia,the main complication in such cases.

Dasmunshi did show some signs of improvement after a few months,moving his limbs and pupils,but did not progress further. Doctors said he was suffering from “post arrest anoxic encephalopathy”,a condition in which the brain suffers damage after cardiac arrest.

To awaken him,Deepa tried everything from playing his favourite CDs,turning on news channels he used to watch,and playing the football videos he loved. She consulted the best doctors across the world,and even got Ramdev to visit the hospital. But Dasmunshi did not respond.

It was then that the PM suggested stem cell treatment,and Deepa contacted the XCell-Center,one of the world’s best institutes for stem cell therapy.

“Prime Minister gave an advice to try out stem cell treatment,pointing out that people got cured in so many cases,” Deepa told The Express from Germany on Sunday. “Treatment would start from Monday”,and doctors would “extract body cells,culture them and then inject them back”,she said.

Dasmunshi is likely to stay at the Center for about 15 days. Deepa will return for a few days to campaign for the November 7 Assembly bypolls in West Bengal. The bypolls are important for Deepa,who has taken over the political mantle of her husband.

Dr Pfiffer had in the past visited India to examine Dasmunshi. The family is putting its faith in his abilities,but fingers are crossed.

“It is too early at this stage to say which the best cell to be injected and the best mode to be given in. There is very little hope,” said Dr Vineet Suri,a consultant in neurology who has been treating Dasmunshi.

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