UK's First IVF 'Savior Sibling' Saves 9-Year-Old Girl

Year-old brother provides bone marrow match
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2010 10:27 AM CST
This undated photo released by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., shows a 400x microscope image of a 5-day-old embryo or blastocyst.   (AP Photo/University of Michigan, Gary Smith)

(Newser) – A British girl is on the mend from a life-threatening illness after an IVF “savior sibling” provided her with bone marrow, the Guardian reports. With their daughter suffering from a bone marrow-destroying disease, a couple couldn’t find a donor—so they had doctors create six IVF embryos and screen them for the disorder. Two were implanted; a baby brother was born; and a year later, he donated bone marrow.

“We are delighted at the outcome for this family. This is absolutely positive life-giving medicine,” said the head of the clinic. It’s the first time the procedure has been used in Britain. Instead, generally, “patients are told to have more children and that with luck one might be a suitable donor, or they are told they have to go abroad.”

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