In October 2017, twin brothers Giovanni and Santino Demasi were born prematurely at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
However, they weren’t able to go home because they could be exposed to dangerous bacteria outside the hospital doors.
Both Giovanni and Santino were born with chronic granulomatous disease, a rare and hereditary immune disorder that made them highly susceptible to germs and infections.
If left untreated, CGD can be fatal, which is why both twins needed a bone marrow transplant that would potentially cure them from the disease.
Doctors typically test siblings to see if there’s a donor match.
Their oldest brother, 10-year-old Dominick, also had CGD as an infant. At the age of 1, he received an umbilical cord transplant from an anonymous donor, which cured him.
Then there was the twins’ other older brother, 4-year-old Michael, who did not have CGD — and as it turned out, he was the perfect sibling match to both twins.
The boys’ parents put a lot of thought and consideration into the ethics behind Michael’s potential bone marrow transfer and how to best approach the 4-year-old with the right information.
Mom Robin and her husband explained the procedure to Michael — that it would be painful, it would involve a big needle, and he would be helping his little brothers.
Michael also knew it was completely up to him, and he didn’t have to go through with it if he didn’t want to …
Due to restrictions, this video cannot
be viewed in your region.