An 8-Year-Old Boy's Bone Marrow Donation Cured His Siblings Of Sickle Cell Disease
"It's kind of a bit of a miracle, in my opinion," his brother said.
April 16, 2019 at 2:05 pm
An 8-year-old boy gave his brother and sister a wonderful gift: a cure.
Kingsley Aihe, 22, and Vanessa, 13, had sickle cell disease until their little brother Stefan donated his bone marrow. Their doctor was shocked when he realized Stefan was a match for both siblings.
"It's incredibly rare to have the same donor give to two different siblings. It's uncommon, but it's not impossible," Dr. David Shook explained to WESH.
Vanessa was cured a few years ago, and Kingsley received a transplant last November.
He is grateful for the unconventional discovery.
"It's kind of a bit of a miracle, in my opinion," Kingsley said.
Their mother believes the outcome was a blessing.
"I feel like God did it for us, so we were blessed," their mother, Nikki Aihe, said.
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Bone marrow transplants have a 95% success rate for curing the disease. Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder, named for the crescent-shaped blood cells present in the sufferer’s blood, according to the CDC. These deformed cells die quicker and cause a shortage of red blood cells. The sickle cells also have a harder time traveling through some blood vessels and can cause a blockage. The lack of blood flow can cause pain, acute chest syndrome and strokes.
People with sickle cell disease are born with the condition and inherit the trait from their parents. Carriers of the sickle cell trait usually have no symptoms of the disease. Black people are particularly vulnerable to this disease, and sickle cell disease occurs in one out of every 365 births. One in 13 Black babies is born with the trait.
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