Bone marrow match found for sick 12-year-old

5:08 PM, Apr 4, 2012   |    comments
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ATHENS, Ga. -- A round-the-clock effort to find a bone marrow match for an Athens sixth grader has paid off.

PHOTOS | 24 hour bone Marrowthon

Organizers of last week's Marrowthon for 12-year-old Kajal Patel confirm that not just one, but multiple donor matches have been found.

"It took awhile to absorb the information," said Tina Patel, Kajal's mother. "It was like, I'm double checking. Is this real? It's a miracle for sure."

The Athens Academy sixth grader has been in the hospital since February after suffering a series of strokes. The young girl was born with an immune deficiency and needs the transplant to stay alive.

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Kajal Patel's classmates rallied around her, planning and organizing last week's drive that collected 2,900 swab samples from potential donors. Volunteers spent 24 hours in various locations around Athens collecting samples and spreading the word of Kajal's plight.

"They're the ones that caused this miracle to happen," said Tina Patel. "We have a match and I know soon my daughter will be okay. I know that for sure."

RELATED | Sixth graders work tirelessly to save sick classmate

11Alive followed the drive for the entire 24 hours.

The odds of finding a match were one in 20,000.

Kajal will have to regain her strength before she can undergo the procedure. Her parents are by her side at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

"It's real tough," said Demesh Patel, Kajal's father. "But we're hanging in there with these good people supporting us."

Kajal's parents say the potential donors haven't been identified and they likely won't know who has provided their daughter with life saving bone marrow until a year after the transplant.

Kajal is currently at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. She is unable to communicate and her vision has been impared. Still, her parents say she is getting better.

"I'm going to be working harder to get her back on her feet as quickly as possible," said Tina Patel.

She has an entire community behind her.

 

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