Tracey Dones from New York knew that there was something very wrong with her newborn son, Anthony Dones. It was the year 2002, and though Anthony had only been in the world for a short while, he was already having many issues.
“He was not thriving. He just looked off to me. He was small,” Tracey told to ABC News.
Tracey took the boy to get checked out by professionals, and it was a gut-wrenching moment when she received the diagnosis.
Anthony had malignant infantile osteopetrosis.
A devastating condition, malignant infantile osteopetrosis affects bone density and results in many complications, such as blindness and growth abnormalities.
Tracey was devastated by the news.
“Oh my God, it was like my whole world was falling apart completely,” she explained.
To make matters worse, doctors said that without a donation of umbilical cord blood, four-month-old Anthony was going to die.
Frantically, the family searched for a cord blood donor.
Finally, the family managed to get a donor in time, and the transplant allowed Anthony to begin to recover. His life had been saved.
As for the donor, the unknown individual wished to remain anonymous—but Tracey never forgot their generous donation.
“For 15 years I’ve thought of [the donor] and how [they] saved my son’s life,” Tracey explained.
15 years later, Anthony is doing well. Although he is blind, he leads a rich and full life. For Tracey’s birthday recently, they both took DNA tests to learn more about their heritage.
But something was strange about Anthony’s test results.
The teen’s results didn’t match up with what Tracey knew about her family. After pondering why this had happened, she eventually realized what was going on.
The results were being affected by DNA from the umbilical cord transplant.
Seeing an opportunity to finally meet up with the anonymous donor who’d saved her son’s life, Tracey used the information she received from the test to track them down, and she managed to get in contact with them through Facebook.
Sam Bosques was the anonymous donor, although he doesn’t remember it at all as he had just been born.
Sam and his mother gave the donation that had saved Anthony’s life.
After Sam’s delivery, his mother, Patti Bosques had decided to give his umbilical cord blood to what she assumed had been research. She had no idea it would be used to save a life.
Tracey eagerly requested a meet-up for the four people, which the Bosques accepted.
It was an emotional but happy experience for everyone involved. Anthony and Sam played video games together while their mothers talked, and Tracey finally got to thank Patti for her actions that saved her son’s life.
“I’m overwhelmed. It’s very overwhelming,” Patti shared. “When I donated the cord blood, I thought it was going to be used more for research. I certainly didn’t think it would have such an individual impact on one person.”