Bengaluru man with rare blood group becomes donor for pregnant woman in Chennai, ensures a safe childbirth


CHENNAI: An overnight train journey from Bengaluru by 34-year-old finance professional Aditya Hegde helped a 21-year-old woman in a Chennai hospital give safe birth to a baby girl on Tuesday.

Mythili-- name changed— from a village near Kallakurichi in Viluppuram district, was admitted to Government Hospital for Women and Children in Egmore on Saturday for the delivery of her second child. Doctors there identified her instantly. Less than two years ago, when she was admitted there for a C-section, doctors noticed that she had a rare blood group -- HH negative group or the Bombay group.

While blood groups like A, B, AB and O are popular, the HH is rare. “In A group, the person has A antigen and B antibody. While those with AB have both the antigens and no antibodies, people with O group have only antibodies. In all these groups, there is another antigen called H. Those with Bombay group have all the three antibodies and none of the three antigens,” said Dr P Jayanthi, blood officer at the hospital.

While the hospital has identified at least 10 people with the Bombay blood group, what made it difficult for Mythili is that all they were all RH+ve and hers was RH–ve.

Less than two years ago, when she came to the hospital for her first delivery, doctors in the blood bank identified her group as one of the rarest. Mythili was the first Bombay negative case that the hospital has seen in the past few years.

“At that time, she was healthy. After a C-section, we told her things may not be easy the second time as she may require blood transfusion. We counselled her to come to us at least 15 days ahead of her due date so we can draw her own blood and preserve it for later use,” recalls hospital director Dr Shaanthy Gunasingh.

But Mythili failed to do that. In less than six months, she got pregnant again, and she came just in time for her delivery.

The hospital tried through all sources for blood. And that’s when one of the hospital’s visitors volunteered to help. Srijit Narayanan, an employee of the Times of India, sent messages to various groups and managed to connect with Hegde from Bengaluru by Sunday.

On Monday, after work, Hegde took a train to Chennai. After donating blood, he was back to work in his Bengaluru office by Tuesday afternoon.

“I have donated blood at least 55 times. Usually, I donate and courier it. I have sent it to countries like Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. But on Monday doctors said they would prefer to draw fresh blood,” he said.

Senior gynaecologists, who did the surgery, ordered for one unit of blood. Just when Hegde was boarding the train back to Bengaluru, Mythili was latching her newborn. “Hegde was god-sent. I don’t know what we would have done if he had not come here,” said her uncle Ramu.

For her part, Mythili has enrolled herself as a blood donor for Bombay –ve blood group in the hospital.

Sankalp Unit