NRL News

Once-Paralyzed man given new lease on life, thanks to adult stem cells

by | Oct 16, 2013

By Dave Andrusko



Here is the latest in the many stories we’ve carried about the remarkable improvements in patients who have been treated not with embryonic stem cells (there have been no such improvements) but with ethically unobjectionable adult stem cells which are obtained from bone marrow, blood, fat tissue, umbilical cord blood, and other tissues after birth.

Under the headline “Adult Stem Cell Treatment Gives Once-Paralyzed Man New Lease on Life,” Fox 5 in Baltimore is reporting the story of Shawn, a 42-year-old Utah man who woke up 15 years ago with transverse myelitis, an autoimmune disease that causes the nerve ending to the spinal cord to deteriorate.

Within just over a year, he was paralyzed from the chest down and told by five doctors he’d never walk again. The reporter writes as if scientists had just discovered how powerfully adult stem cells can work in humans. In fact over 60,000 people are helped worldwide every year.

The good news for Shawn is six years ago stem cells were taken from his own bone marrow and placed in the diseased areas.  According to Fox 5

“Today he’s able to walk up to a half mile on the treadmill – a huge achievement considering just a few years ago the only thing he could do was wiggle his big toe a quarter of an inch. Though he still uses a wheelchair for longer distances he now works full time at Home Depot and has even started his own Lupus foundation. He’s currently working on writing a book about his journey. ‘I want to thrive,’ Shawn said. ‘I want to live, I want to experience, I want to have and enjoy my life.’”

Asked to comment, stem cell expert Dr. David Prentice told NRL News Today, “Besides treatments for spinal cord injury, cancers and anemias, adult stem cells are now showing success at treating heart damage, multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, and dozens of other diseases.” Prentice added, “And by the way, adult stem cells also have the only reported case of successful treatment of a Parkinson’s patient documented in the scientific literature.”

For a complete overview of the failure of embryonic stem cells and the successes of adult stem cells, see “Not with a bang, but a whimper,” and “Adult Stem Cells truly are life savers.”

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Categories: Adult Stem Cells