Scared of the surgery but wanting to be her brother's superhero, this young girl stood her ground, determined to save her baby brother.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 1, 2019. It has since been updated.
Siblings. You can't live with them but you just can't live without them either. The bond between siblings is something sacred. While for some people, circumstances haven't allowed that bond to grow, for others, they would do absolutely anything for them. And this four-year-old girl proved it. Young Khloe Land loved her brother with everything in her and would have done anything for him. An older sister to Colton Land, what she didn't realize was that she would be called on to save him so early in her life.
According to Good Morning America, Colton was born on July 24th with a serious condition known as SCID or severe combined immunodeficiency. This condition causes children who have it to possess a very weak immune system. As a result, the child is unable to fight off even mild infections, according to Standford Children's Health. This condition is also called the "Bubble Boy" disease since those who have it must be protected at all times from outside infections.
Kayla Land, mom to the two young kids, told GMA that just by looking at Colton, you wouldn't know that he has SCID. "Nobody would ever know that he has SCID," Land said. "He's just a healthy, normal sweet baby. He's been poked and prodded a lot, but he's a little fighter."
Colton Land was born without an immune system.— KMTR NBC 16 (@KMTR) September 11, 2019
His sister Khloe is an exact match to be a bone marrow donor.
The Coos County family heads to Portland soon for a transplant at @OHSUDoernbecher https://t.co/4L7JKkwShE
However, no matter how much fight he had in him, the only way to protect his body from outside germs and avoid infection was through a bone marrow transplant, according to the local doctors. While the whole family was more than happy to have themselves check for a match, there was only one person who was a perfect fit for little Colton — Khloe.
Khloe and her 8-year-old sister Krissy were both checked by the "Be the Match" registry which collects cheek swabs in order to check DNA. Quickly, they discovered that Khloe was a perfect match for her brother and would be able to donate, according to Dr. Evan Shereck, the lead for the transplant at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Little 2-month-old Colton looks as healthy as any other baby, but he doesn't have an immune system. Fighting right by his side is his 4-year-old sister, Khloe, who is an exact match for a bone marrow transplant. https://t.co/KsqSZTXJgE— FOX26 News (@KMPHFOX26) September 12, 2019
But what was more miraculous was that the likelihood of a sibling being a perfect match for a bone marrow donation is only about 25%, Dr. Sherek said. "He's incredibly lucky to have had a matched sibling," she said of Colton. "We prefer matched sibling donors because we know the outcomes of transplant are really good."
So when Khloe was told the news, "My husband and I were hoping it was our older daughter because she understood and she wanted to be the one to help her little brother," said the mother-of-three. "When we found it was Khloe, she was really excited at first and then fear kicked in within about 30 seconds and she broke down and told us how scared she was."
This "superhero" 4-year-old is donating bone marrow to save her infant brother. https://t.co/MY2kYW0k3j pic.twitter.com/G6cxnUE04M— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 16, 2019
But with the immense courage she possessed, Khloe got herself together and soon became eager to be her little brother's "superhero." On the day of the procedure, Kayla shared a photo of Khloe laying in a hospital bed and using a tablet.
However, another sweet post came the day before Khloe would save Colton's life. Kayla took to Facebook and shared a picture of all three of her kids sitting on the grass, according to People. “Tomorrow is the day,” the administrative assistant wrote. “It’s the first day to a new life for our sweet boy and a huge relief for Khloe once she gets done saving his life. Worrying for one child is so difficult, worrying about two is immensely challenging.”
For those who have been following, Khloe donated 3 transplants worth of bone marrow this morning. Two of which will be frozen, just in case, and Colton underwent his transplant. Please keep them in your thoughts ❤️ https://t.co/wQbWnOWS0x— Jaden (@Jaden_Arbuckle) September 17, 2019
Currently, the children are expected to stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Portland for three months after the transplant, KMTR reported. "Khloe tells Colton all the time that she's going to save his life, so she knows that he wouldn't have a good chance of living if it wasn't for her," Land said. "But we've tried to make things as minimal as possible."
A GoFundMe page was set up to help cover the medical cost for the brave siblings.
Looks like Khloe and Colton will be closer in blood, more than they realize.