Infant twin brothers in the Philadelphia area were able to get a life-saving bone marrow donation from their 4-year-old brother after being diagnosed with a rare disease, WTXF-TV reported.
The twins, Santino and Giovanni Demasi, were diagnosed with the immune disorder chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), which is diagnosed in one in 500,000 people each year, the television station said. Without a bone marrow donation, the disease could be deadly because it increases the body’s susceptibility to infections.
The boys, who are just shy of 7 months old, were born prematurely to mom Robin Pownall and were diagnosed with CGD shortly after birth, according to Fox News. The boys were being treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and in need of the transplant.
Pownall’s oldest son, Dominick, 9, had CGD, but received an umbilical cord transplant from an anonymous donor by his first birthday and is considered cured, according to Fox News.
“We knew it was a chance but for it to happen again to both babies, we were in shock at first,” Pownall, 32, said, according to Fox News.
Pownall’s middle child, four-year-old Michael, though, was born without the disease. Doctors found out that he was a match for both of his younger brothers and made the decision to help save their lives.
“We found the match,” wrote Casey Pownall, Robin Pownall’s sister on a GoFundMe page she set up to help with the family’s expenses. “Their big brother Michael is a perfect sibling match to both twins. How incredible he is going to give his bone marrow to save his baby brothers’ lives. What a brave young man.”
The procedure happened in March with doctors taking bone marrow from Michael while his twin brothers went through 10 days of chemo before receiving the donation.
“He could have said ‘No Mommy, I’m too scared, and I don’t want to,’ but he’s ready to go and he’s our real life superhero,” Robin Pownall told Fox News.
A video of Michael and his brothers shared on Facebook Tuesday as the twins prepared to leave the hospital after a recovery.
“I saved you guys,” Michael said in the video. “It’s time to go home.”
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