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Duke doctors perform unique cord-blood transplant to save boy

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
By Maggie Newland
Vinod Prasad

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Thanks to a procedure performed at Duke University, a little boy with a serious illness is on his way to a normal life.

While stem cell transplants using umbilical cord blood are becoming more common, doctors say this one was unique.

Thor Uran is an active 2-year-old boy with a big smile and a habit of blowing kisses. He is already showing brotherly love to his little sister, Lila.

“They’re going to be connected in a very unique way. They literally have the same blood,” said Thor’s mom Justine Uran.

Just weeks after Lila was born, the blood from her umbilical cord was transplanted into her brother, who’s battling a rare genetic disorder called Chronic Granulomatous Disease.

CGD put him at constant risk of infection.

“There are certain bacteria and funguses he can’t fight off,” explained Justine Uran. Her husband, Dustin, added, “He couldn’t play in leaves he couldn’t play in dirt he couldn’t be in fresh water

“Given the type of disease that Thor had, I would not have expected a normal life span for him,” said Dr. Vinod Prasad, with Duke University’s Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.

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