4 Year-Old Girl Donates Bone Marrow To Save The Life Of Her Little Brother
A 4 year-old girl won the best big sister award when she donated bone marrow to save the life of her baby brother.
Soon after Colton Land was born on July 24 in Oregon, doctors realized that he was born with a genetic form of severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID. Better known as Bubble Boy disease, those who have it need to be protected since they are susceptible to all kinds of infections.
“Nobody would ever know that he has SCID. He’s just a healthy, normal sweet baby. He’s been poked and prodded a lot, but he’s a little fighter,” said Kayla Land, Colton’s mother.
The disease meant that baby Colton had no way of protecting himself from even the smallest germs that could put him at risk of developing infections. Doctors told his family that the only chance he had was a bone marrow transplant.
Both Colton’s older sisters, 8-year-old Krissy and 4-year-old Khloe, were tested for a match through the Be the Match registry. Once the DNA was tested, it was discovered that Khloe had the right genes to save her baby brother.
“My husband and I were hoping it was our older daughter because she understood and she wanted to be the one to help her little brother,” said Kayla. “When we found it was Khloe, she was really excited at first and then fear kicked in within about 30 seconds and she broke down and told us how scared she was.”
Dr. Evan Shereck, who led the transplant at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, said that while most siblings have only a 25% chance of being a perfect match, Khloe’s bone marrow was a perfect match for Colton.
“He’s incredibly lucky to have had a matched sibling,” the doctor said of Colton. “We prefer matched sibling donors because we know the outcomes of transplant are really good.”
Kayla got Khloe a special superhero dress to wear on the day of the transplant to show what a true hero she is.
“She gets down on the floor and tells him that she’s going to save him. Her cells are going to go in, take over and slowly start forming his immunity for him,” Kayla said.
Thankfully, the surgery was a success, and the family is now home recovering.
“Doctors have told us that around one year after transplant he can live a normal life as a kid and be out playing in the dirt and being with other kids,” Kayla said.
Please keep baby Colton and his hero sister Khloe in your thoughts and prayers!