Nigerian Man gets cured of Sickle Cell Disease In 2022 Through Breakthrough DNA Treatment in the United States.
A Nigerian man identified as Jimi Olaghere, 36, has been cured of the sickle cell through a DNA modification treatment.
Olaghere who battled sickle cell for three decades changed his state of health at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute.
Dr Haydar Frangoul who treated the Nigerian said the treatment involves changing the foetal haemoglobin. The foetal haemoglobin is used by the foetus in the womb.
Dr Frangoul said the treatment involves a genetic switch. The switch is named BCL11A.
“Our approach is to turn that switch off and increase the production of foetal haemoglobin again, basically turning the clock back,” she said.
This genetic switch is flipped after we are born and we develop the adult haemoglobin, the Dr told BBC.
According to the scientist, it is this adult form of haemoglobin that affects sickle cell disease.
Dr Frangoul revealed that this treatment was carried out on 45 patients.
She described the success of the treatment on the first seven patients as “nothing short of amazing”.
The Scientist noted that this treatment represented a “functional cure” for the disease.
“What we are seeing is patients are going back to their normal life, none have required admission to hospital or doctor visits because of sickle cell-related complications,” Dr Frangoul says.
Rebirth from Sickle cell
Jimi describes how excited he feels after the success of the treatment.
“It’s like being born again,”
“When I look back, it’s like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I lived with that,” he said.
Olaghere who had hoped for a genetic change to permanently cure his disease in the future received the treatment much earlier.
He recounts how a constant pain in life had become a thing of the past. He also shared how this treatment would make him live a more fulfilling life.
“You always have to be in a war mindset, knowing that your days are going to be filled with challenges.
The patient said that the “Shards of glass flowing through your veins or someone taking a hammer to your joints.
“You wake up in the morning with pain and you go to bed with pain.”
He said that he thought in the future there would be a cure for his disease.
Future of Sickle Cell
Luckily the future is now.
“One day in the future, probably 20 to 50 years from now, I’m going to get my DNA edited, and it’s going to cure my sickle cell,” Olaghere explained.
He concluded that the rebirth from this treatment has made him feel like a newborn.
“I have this analogy I use. When my son was first born, I saw him looking out the car window and seeing him experience the world for the first time as a new human being. I almost feel the same way. I’m living life as a new person.”
Olaghere who is a father and a husband feels that he can become a better parent to his son.
“Just being able to take a walk with my son, that’s something I thought I was going to miss out on.”
This revolutionary new gene-editing treatment is currently being trialled in the US.