5-year-old Boy with COVID-19 Saves 7-year-old Sister's Life as Bone Marrow Donor

5-year-old Boy with COVID-19 Saves 7-year-old Sister's Life as Bone Marrow Donor

Doctors only found out he contracted coronavirus a day before his sister's urgent transplant.

Even with COVID-19, Sila “Jio” Boonklomjit, a 5-year-old boy from Thailand, managed to save his sister’s life with the stem cells he donated for her bone marrow transplant.

Contracted COVID-19 a Day Before Procedure

Doctors only discovered Jio contracted coronavirus the day before Jintanakan “Jean” Boonklomjit, his sister’s urgent transplant. 

Despite the challenges faced, which included quarantine restrictions placed on Jio on the eve of the transplant procedure, all went through successfully.

And it was done so without Jio passing the virus to Jean.

While the experimental procedure first began in April, the bone marrow was only successfully transplanted on 23 June 2020 at Ramathibodi Hospital.

5-year-old Boy with COVID-19 Saves 7-year-old Sister's Life as Bone Marrow Donor

5-year-old Thai Boy with COVID-19 saved his sister by donating his stem cells. | Photo: Facebook screengrab/Ramathibodi Foundation

Jean’s case was “believed to be the first successful stem cell transplant from a donor with active COVID-19”, according to reports. 

She was reported being in a severe condition, born with Thalassemia—a genetic blood disorder that limits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. 

There were struggles to find a suitable donor to cure Jean, which left Jio as their “best hope”, said Suradej Hongeng of the hospital’s pediatrics department. 

A Difficult Journey

It was a long and uncertain road to this happy outcome, according to him.

Jio and Jean were confirmed to be a genetic match in 2018, and the hospital prepared for the transplantation procedure thereafter.

5-year-old Boy with COVID-19 Saves 7-year-old Sister's Life as Bone Marrow Donor

Photo: Facebook screengrab/Ramathibodi Foundation

But with any medical procedures, there were certain complications and hurdles involved.

According to Suradej, the siblings’ young age were part of the difficulties faced during the procedure. Jean’s chemotherapy procedure also caused her immune system to be compromised. 

Still, things turned out well in the end, and the 5-year-old hero was applauded for saving his big sister’s life.

“It’s as if my daughter is reborn and gets a new life,” said the children’s father, Suchai Boonklomjit. 

As of date, Jio himself has also recovered from the coronavirus that was believed to be transmitted from his mother, according to doctors. 

You can view the full post here:

Images via Facebook screengrabs/Ramathibodi Foundation

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5-year-old Boy with COVID-19 Saves 7-year-old Sister's Life as Bone Marrow Donor

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Written by

Jia Ling

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