Five-year-old Girija's legs started to buckle and her speech began to slur when she was brought to Annal Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital here.
The child, diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, was saved from complete paralysis by timely treatment in the form of life-saving immunoglobulin therapy.
Girija, daughter of a labourer, Shankar, from Uthangudi near Manachanallur, was admitted to the hospital on March 28. After four days of investigations she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a serious progressive disorder with inflammation of nerves or polyneuritis.
“Weakness of lower limbs had already set in. The condition is characterised by ascending paralysis but can prove fatal if paralysis ascends to upper limbs and chest,” D. Saminathan, head, Department of Paediatrics of the hospital, told The Hindu.
The polyneuritis could have been triggered by a viral infection.
“It was essential that the intravenous immunoglobulin was given immediately,” says Dr. Saminathan. With the drug being unavailable in the government hospital, five vials priced at Rs.90,000 were promptly procured with funding from the Ekam Foundation, Chennai, a charitable organisation that supports children with GBS.
Till now, all such cases were being referred to Children's Hospital in Chennai.
Girija can now stand up with support and is expected to recover gradually.
The child has been registered under the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.