Skip to main content
10 November 2023

Patient in China saved by his own stem cells 19 years later

A groundbreaking case for private cord blood banking and autologous^ cord blood use worldwide.

Every time Xiao An's parents recalled their decision to preserve his cord blood, they felt extremely grateful…

Back in 2003, the concept of cord blood banking was still relatively new in China. With an attitude of wanting to be prepared for the unknown and for their peace of mind, an expectant couple chose to bank their child's cord blood, a decision that would prove life-changing 19 years later.

In December 2021, shortly after turning 18, Xiao An began experiencing concerning symptoms, such as ulcers and blood spots. After a series of medical tests, he was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a condition in which the immune system attacks the bone marrow. Xiao An had “PNH clones” in his blood, a distinctive feature of severe aplastic anaemia. This aggressive attack can result in complete bone marrow failure and even death.

In this critical situation, it was the cord blood they had preserved from Xiao An’s birth that held the key to his recovery…

During their quest for treatment at numerous local hospitals, Xiao An’s parents discovered a glimmer of hope when they learnt about the high success rate of cord blood transplants using the patient’s own cord blood. Their hope was ignited because, back in 2003, when Xiao An was born, his parents had the foresight to store his cord blood with a local private cord blood bank. This decision, made nearly two decades ago, is now proving to be a potentially lifesaving source of treatment.

The cord blood haematopoietic stem cells, which had been dormant for 19 years, were found to be in great shape…

Upon deciding on the autologous cord blood transplant, they quickly contacted the cord blood bank where Xiao An's cord blood was stored. Expert technicians confirmed the cord blood’s excellent condition even after 19 years of dormancy.

The path to recovery made possible by cord blood…

On December 25, 2022, Xiao An received a cord blood reinfusion at Beijing Lu Daopei Hospital. His remarkable recovery allowed him to leave intensive care about a month later, and by February 2023, he was enjoying a normal, healthy life.

Xiao An's journey is one of both adversity and fortune, underscoring the importance of cord blood banking…

When discussing their child's illness and the treatment experience, Xiao An's parents expressed profound gratitude for having stored their child's cord blood. Cord blood, collected from the umbilical cord following a baby's birth, is rich in blood-forming haematopoietic stem cells, offering significant support in treating various conditions. With ongoing medical advancements, cord blood has the potential to treat over 80 disorders, including certain cancers and blood disorders, making it a valuable resource for families.

^ Autologous use refers to the practice of using a person's own biological materials, such as their own tissues or cells, for therapeutic or medical purposes. This approach minimises the risk of rejection or complications associated with the use of donor cells because the cells are derived from the patient's own body.


Cured by his own cord blood 19 years later. Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood. Accessed October 18, 2023.