Margarita Zhuravleva

Diagnosis: Primary immunodeficiency, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Post-transplantation condition.
Special thanks to Sky Express Airlines for providing free tickets from Mineralnye Vody to Moscow and backwards to Margarita and her mother. Owing to the company, Margarita was able to arrive to Moscow for examination without additional risk to her health.

Story

Margarita suffers from SCID – the most dangerous form of immunodeficiency. Margarita was lucky to use the only chance for survival - bone marrow transplantation from her elder brother was carried out. Now the girl herself, all her family, doctors, other patients of the Department of Immunology at the Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital (RCCH), and we wait with bated breath for Margarita to recover and to live a full life… Now for the first time in a long time doctors allowed her to go home for a while. She hasn’t been there for ages.

Margarita appeared healthy when she was born and first half a year she was growing up as everyone else. From the very moment of her birth she was an active and cheerful girl. At 6 months, Margarita fell ill with bronchitis, she had a bad cough which was torturing her for 8 months. The girl stopped growing up, gaining weight, and was not teething. Doctors couldn’t make a correct diagnosis and all this time Margarita was treated with antibiotics for bronchitis. Being 1 year old, she was put in a municipal hospital and then transferred to Stavropol, where she was continued to be treated for the wrongfully diagnosed bronchitis. Margarita’s condition was only worsening – stomatitis broke out, high fever lasted for 3 weeks, sores showed up. At the age of 9 months a running bump, inflicting torments on her, appeared on the site of the BCG vaccination.

Finally, doctors started to suspect that all Margarita’s problems are related to the immune system. Thus the girl and her mother were taken to the RCCH in Moscow. Here she got a terrible diagnosis of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) which sounded like a death sentence. Physicians told that bone marrow transplantation is the only chance to survive. German, Margarita’s brother, matched as a donor, and on December 21, 2010 the transplantation was carried out. After the surgery the girl spent 4 more months in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, while doctors were fighting for her life. She also had one more operation for removing the BCG bump.

Thanks to God's willing, Margarita’s condition improved – she teethed, grew 10 centimeters up, began to talk and laugh finally. But it was too early to return home, it was necessary to be followed up by the doctors constantly. Therefore 3.5 months more Margarita and her mother lived in an apartment, rented for them by the “Podsolnuh” fund, near the RCCH so that the girl could be seen by the physicians and undergo medical tests several times a week. Margarita’s mother says that within these long-lasting months her daughter “literally was born again”.

Now the mother tells with great relish how her daughter is growing up: “Margarita is a hilarious girl but with a strong character! If she doesn’t like something she fights and resists. She is up to mischief only with her father. She loves to dance and to play dolls. When we were staying in the hospital, Margarita danced with all the nurses. She is also a real fashion-monger, likes to dress up very much, and when she leaves home for a walk, takes on her favorite bracelet and the bow without fail.”

Doctors have finally allowed Margarita to go home for whole 2 months now! Then she will need to arrive to the hospital for the monitoring survey. Unfortunately, by the law Margarita can count only on the railway transportation, which is absolutely contraindicated for her, since after the transplantation the child needs to stay in as sterile environment as possible. Such conditions are out of the question in a third-class sleeper crowded with people.

Margarita’s family doesn’t have means to buy air tickets from Mineralnye Vody to Moscow and backwards for the height of the summer season, since the mother spent all her time in the hospital with the daughter and the father was working alone to earn the money…

We are begging you to help Margarita to avoid additional risks to her health in the most important post-surgery period and to raise money for the tickets together.

What has been done

Special thanks to Sky Express Airlines for providing free tickets from Mineralnye Vody to Moscow and backwards to Margarita and her mother. Owing to the company, Margarita was able to arrive to Moscow for examination without additional risk to her health.