Aydin Khan was 2 years old when his parents began to notice differences between him and other kids his age. Their research seemed to point to autism. It wasn’t until he was 6 years old, entering first grade, that Aydin was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a group of complex developmental disabilities that cause problems with speech and social interaction.
A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that autism spectrum disorders affect 1 in every 88 children around the globe. Although ASDs are more common today than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined, little is known about their cause or the most effective treatment.
“Though a sweet kid at heart, he didn’t interact much with other children, didn’t make eye contact or smile, and didn’t want to be touched. He had trouble with the textures of certain foods, talked in a monotone voice and displayed behavior like flicking his fingers and walking on his tiptoes,” says Aydin’s mother. With the situation at home getting more and more difficult, the parents realized that they would have to take matters further. “We were seeing a speech therapist thrice a week, nevertheless, you feel horrible for your child because you feel like they’re not happy, says Aydin’s father.
Out of options, the concerned parents decided to get Aydin treated abroad. Due to the proximity to their country, India was always going to be a choice in their minds. “We had heard so much about health care in India and wanted to give it a try”, says Aydin’s father. “We began looking for treatment options in India and stumbled upon Vaidam.com.” The family left a query on the website and were almost immediately called back by a case manager. “We were given options for best stem cell therapy centers in India at the time and were assured complete assistance if the need arises. This filled us with a huge sense of relief. We had help in India!!”
After going through multiple care options the family finally decided to go with NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute in Mumbai. “The hospital seemed very well equipped to handle our case and people generally spoke very highly of the health care institution,” says Aydin’s Mother. Once the decision to see a health care specialist was final, the Vaidam case manager made arrangements for the family to stay at a hotel in Mumbai, ensuring that it was convenient for the family. With that, the family were all set to make their way to India and arrived on 30th March, 2018.
Aydin’s Stem Cell therapy began soon after under the special care of one of the top 10 Neurosurgeons in India - Dr. Alok Sharma. The treatment involved extracting stem cells with a lumbar puncture. The treatment continued for 3 days. “After the treatment for 2 to 3 days he showed signs of a headache but it was not so severed. During the treatment, there was no pain,” Aydin’s father.
After observing Aydin, and consulting with the family, the doctor prescribed Oral medication. He was also put on a diet which involves eliminating malt and vinegar and a few other foods. “At that point, he was still eating many foods that were problematic, such as concentrated fruit juice and sugar,” says Dr. Alok Sharma.
After 7 days at the hospital under special care and close observation, there were significant changes, “I observed Aydin to be talking more, in longer sentences and was answering questions better.” After a week in the hospital, the signs were clear for anyone to see. Aydin was now responding better to the treatment. “Dr. Sharma explained the course of treatment and the medications that would be involved over the weeks and months; there were definitely signs of improvement in his speech,” says Aydin’s father.
The family made their way back to Mauritius and are looking forward to Aydin rejoining his friends and restarting his life from where he left off. Vaidam wishes the family all the best for the future and a happy and healthy life ahead for Aydin.