Sibling cord blood to the rescue
Although Leyla’s brain injury was diagnosed before she was born, no-one told her parents about cord blood banking.
But when her baby sister Ela was born in 2018, they not only collected her cord blood but also enrolled in a new trial at Duke University Medical Centre – using sibling cord blood for brain injury.
The therapy is offered for children with various brain disorders under a new FDA-approved Expanded Access Program.
Nine months after the treatment, Leyla’s parents say they’ve seen significant improvements in her speech and energy levels.
“Before the infusion, she couldn’t make sentences and now she’s saying a different word every single day,” Romanska said. “She’s putting three-word phrases together; her speech therapists are amazed.”
Her mother also revealed she’s seen a dramatic increase in Leyla’s energy levels. Before treatment, she would easily fatigue after 15 to 20 minutes of doing simple tasks like going for a walk to the park or grocery shopping.
“I’m shocked. Leyla is like a typical child now,” Romanska said. “She can go from our house to the park and she’s full of energy, full of smiles. I’m just blown away with how the cord blood has helped with that.”