Guizhou toddler donates bone marrow to sick big brother

Updated 2018-01-25 12:23:00

A 10-year-old boy with a deadly blood disorder in Anshun, Guizhou province, will be discharged from the hospital on Sunday after receiving bone marrow from his 6-month-old brother.

Wu Minghang was diagnosed with thalassemia, which produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin, when he was 1 years old. Since then, he has had to receive blood transfusions every 20 days or he would experience dizziness, fatigue and even organ failure.

Due to the constant transfusions, injections and bone marrow punctures, Wu has pinpricks and bruises in many places, especially on his upper extremities.

"The doctors told me the one and only treatment for his disease was a bone marrow transplantation," his mother, Feng Ya, said. "I have been looking for the right match in marrow banks for eight years, but I always came up empty."

In 2011, a doctor suggested Feng consider having another baby, who would have a much better chance of matching her son for marrow compatibility. Feng had her second son in 2016 after years of trying to get pregnant, but he wasn't a match for Wu.

However, Feng was soon pregnant again.

"Delivering my second child by C-section after just six months in the womb put me at high risk if I chose to give birth again, not to mention I was already 36 years old," she said. "The doctor told me to give up."

But she insisted and had her third son in July safe and sound. This time, the baby was a match for Wu.

"We named him Zhi, which in Chinese means 'quality', because we want him to be of good quality in every aspect," Feng said. "He came into this world with a mission to save his big brother."

Wu underwent a transplant operation on Jan 4 at the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Feng said the procedure was just the first step in his recovery. Although there's still a long way to go, she said she sees a bright future for her three sons.

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