PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – A Philadelphia 4-year-old is being called a “superhero” after he was a match to donate life-saving bone marrow to his twin baby brothers.
Michael Pownall’s 4-month-old brothers, Santino and Giovanni, have chronic granulomatous disease, which is diagnosed in one in 500,000 people every year.
He will undergo the transplant to save his brothers in two weeks, reports WTXF.
“He’s just like ‘I’m a real-life superhero,'” their mother, Robin Pownall, told WTXF. “He says ‘I’m going to save my baby brothers.’”
“He goes to the doctor when he gets the labs for the pre-testing, and he says ‘Look how strong I am’ and he gives them willingly his arm to get blood work,” their mother said. “The nurses are amazed. They’re like ‘I cannot believe how brave he is,’ and he really is. It gives me chills.”
Santino and Giovanni have been at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia since they were born in October.
They haven’t been able to leave because the boys could be exposed to a pathogen outside of the hospital.
Michael’s older brother, Dominick, was also born with CGD but received a stem donation from an outside donor. Michael doesn’t have the disease.
When doctors determined Michael was a match for both his brothers, he was ready to go.
“He could have said, ‘No, mommy, I’m too scared and I don’t want to,’ but he’s ready to go and he’s our real-life superhero,” Pownall said.
Pownall and her fiance have had to quit their jobs to spend time at the hospital with the twins. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help them with medical bills.
The surgery takes place on March 8.