BABY BORN TO SAVE BROTHER
Sally Bengtsson / 2008-10-19 16:38:47
The first case of a baby being born to save his older brother or sister took place in Spain last week.
Javier, an infant who was genetically selected to donate stem cells to his six-year-old brother who has a serious genetic illness, was born on Sunday in Seville's Virgen del Rocío Hospital. The blood from Javier's umbilical chord will be used for a transplant for Andrés, who suffers from congenital anemia. After the passing of the 2006 Human-Assisted Reproduction Law, Andalusia became the first Spanish region to approve embryo screening as a public healthcare record.
Two families in Murcia are in a similar situation to Javi's family. Their children also have the same serious type of anaemia, talasemia maior, and are trying to have another baby who would be able to give their sibling a transplant. The illness means the babies must have blood transfusions periodically and their life expectancy is very low. The embryo has to be genetically selected which are genetically compatible with their brother or sister, as their bone marrow is what is in question. One of the mothers did become pregnant and everything was looking good, but she lost the baby. The parents are now going to restart the process. The other family is about to start the treatment .