We are living great times, my friends!
Imagine losing control of your car and waking up in a hospital paralyzed from the neck down.
That’s the story of Kristopher Boesen who had a life-changing experience when his car spiraled out of control on a slippy road surface, slamming into a tree and lamp post.
Doctors warned Kris’s parents that he may never be able to function from the neck down again.
Kris was offered the chance to go through a potentially life-changing procedure involving stem cells, which can repair injured nervous tissue through the replacement of damaged cells (1).
The experimental procedure didn’t guarantee any restoration to Kris’s paralysis, but the risk was worth taking to him.
The process started in April where Dr. Liu injected ten million AST-OPC1 cells directly into Kris’ cervical spinal cord.
For more information regarding where stem cells come from, you can check out this resource.
Dr. Liu explained:
“Typically, spinal cord injury patients undergo surgery that stabilizes the spine but does very little to restore motor or sensory function.
With this study, we are testing procedure that may improve neurological function, which could mean the difference between being permanently paralyzed and being able to use one’s arms and hands.
Restoring that level of function could significantly improve the daily lives of patients with severe spinal injuries.”
After a mere three weeks of therapy, Kris started showing signs of improvement, and within two months he could answer the phone, write down his name and operate a wheelchair.
He regained significant improvement in his motor functions, which means the transmissions of messages from the brain to muscle groups to create movement.
Kris recovered two spinal chord levels. This made a huge difference in his movement abilities.
This was the difference between minimal movement or none at all and being able to function on his own. Kris regained that incredibly important aspect of his independence.
After seeing the results of his stem cell therapy, Kris said:
“All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a fighting chance…But if there’s an opportunity for me to walk again, then heck yeah! I want to do anything possible to do that.”
Although doctors can’t make any promises that Kris’s condition will further improve, they can keep experimenting with stem cell research to try and enhance the likelihood of it working fully on paralysis.
Stem cell research is ongoing and can be used in several ways other than paralysis; from Parkinson’s and diabetes to cancer. To find the latest news concerning stem cell research check this website out.
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