Stem cell surgery – Spinal Cord Injury

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

spinal-cord2Stem cell surgery

After a freak accident left him paralysed from the chest down 20 years ago, Michael Flounders (53) is now hoping to walk again after pioneering adult stem cell surgery in Ecuador.

Searching on the internet, Michael came across the groundbreaking surgery involving stem cells, being tried at the Luis Vernaza hospital in Ecuador. Michael said; “It was really bizarre, as I was reading about it I knew it was what I had to do.”

Dr. Luis Geffner had just completed an adult stem cell research study of implanting the patient’s own stem cells from their bone marrow back into their spinal cord.

In May 2007 Michael emailed Dr Geffner; “I never thought that he’d reply but he did and we began talking through the surgery.”

Michael travelled to Luis Vernaza hospital in Ecuador in November 2007 for the operation; he was the first person from Europe to undergo the four hour procedure which was carried out by Dr Luis Geffner.

A year on, he has regained strength in his legs, back and stomach, can control his upper body movements and walk with parallel bars, although he is still in a wheelchair.

Michael says: “It has changed my life. Now I believe that I may be able to walk again. Every day things are changing, the feelings in my legs are becoming a lot more powerful. I feel now that I have a future.”

via This Morning | Health | Stem cell surgery – ITV Lifestyle.


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