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With sisterly help, ailing boy recovers

JIANG Shubao, the boy aged four who received a bone-marrow transplant from his sister to treat a serious blood disease, is on the mend and was yesterday discharged from the Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

Doctors said the procedure was successful and the boy did not suffer severe rejection after receiving 600 milliliters of bone marrow extracted from 10-year-old Jiang Yuelan on June 3.

Aplastic anemia is a disease where bone marrow does not produce sufficient new blood cells.

The girl said she was happy over her brother's recovery and presented a picture she drew to a Singapore national, who donated 50,000 yuan (US$7,318) to help with the boy's medical expenses.

Jiang Yuelan will take a train with her father back to her hometown in Guizhou Province today to live with her grandparents and resume her schooling, while her mother will live in Shanghai with the boy for some months to make it easier for regular hospital checkups.

"The boy will be on low-dosage, anti-rejection drugs for six to nine months," said Dr Chen Jing from the center's hematology and oncology department. "Since his sister's stem cells perfectly match the boy's, his recovery has been quick and smooth."

"The girl is a hero," said the Singaporean donor identified as Chee, who went to the hospital yesterday to celebrate the boy's discharge.

The transplant was originally scheduled for May 23 after Chee promised to donate the 50,000 yuan to help cover the 100,000 yuan in medical expenses. However, Jiang Yuelan suddenly left her temporary home in Pudong New Area on May 19 and was reunited with her family in a police station in far-off Minhang District on May 23.

She left the home because she had eaten noodles from her landlord's apartment without permission and feared her mother's reaction.

"I may have ignored her when the boy was seriously sick," said Zhou Lianying, their mother. "She had asked me to buy some snacks and foods, while I turned her down by saying we were poor and all the money must be used on her sick brother."

Zhou said she would take the boy back to Guizhou after doctors allowed him to leave Shanghai.

Jiang Shubao was diagnosed with aplastic anemia last summer and taken to the Shanghai center in October for treatment.

After doctors suggested a transplant, Jiang Yuelan was brought to Shanghai in December for tests.


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