Spanish baby engineered to save brother

Filed under: Babies, Big Kids, Your Pregnancy, Medical Conditions


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It had to be devastating -- to learn that their son had a deadly genetic disease destined to cut his life short after just a decade. But then science reared its helpful head and offered a solution. Andres, suffering from a rare hereditary disease called Beta Thalassaemia major, could have a brother who was not only free of the genetic malady, but could save Andres' life.

And so, Javier was born, free of the disease, and an immunological match for his brother -- meaning he could donate bone marrow to his brother and quite possibly cure Andres' condition. Andres' body does not produce enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells but his brother's umbilical cord blood will be used in a bone marrow transplant. Doctors say that "the possibility of healing the boy after the transplant is very high."

The parents used in vitro fertilization to conceive Javier and, prior to implantation, were able to verify that the embryo was genetically healthy. After he was born, doctors determined that Javier was indeed the ideal donor for his brother. I'd say that's one boy that better be nice to his kid brother!

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Would you have another baby to save your first child's life?
Yes, of course.5197 (62.9%)
Maybe, but it would be a hard decision.2322 (28.1%)
No, that's not fair to the second child.749 (9.1%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.