An experimental new treatment using stem cells recently helped a victim of spinal cord injury regain partial control of his limbs. Kris Boeson was in a tragic car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. When he first returned home from the hospital, he struggled to breath without medical assistance, and he expected to need help taking care of himself for the rest of his life.
Kris and his family explored options for treatment, but most of the spinal injury treatments today are surgeries aimed at preventing further damage rather than resolving existing ailments.
It seemed that this would be a permanent condition, until he encountered an opportunity to try something new in the field of medicine.
Are Stem Cells a New Treatment for Spinal Injury?
Kris’ road to recovery started when he discovered a new trial with Dr. Edward Wirth II at Asterias Biotherapeutics. The treatment uses injections of an agent called AST-CPC1 that helps cells in the brain, nerves and spinal cord to function.
Just this past April, Kris went through the treatment program with the help of Dr. Carhles Lui of the University of Southern California. Throughout the course of his treatment he received injections of more than 10 million cells of AST-OPC1 directly into his spinal cords.
Many would consider the effects of this program to be a medical miracle. Within two weeks Kris had gone from struggling to breath to having limited new movement in his paralyzed areas. Within a few months, he could do everyday activities like writing, eating, hugging family members and operating his own wheelchair. This will allow him to have a much larger degree of independence than he ever thought he would have again.
Wonderful Possibilities for Thousands of Americans
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center says that around 17,000 Americans experience a spinal cord injury each year, mostly from car and motorcycle accidents. If treatments such as this one continue to improve, there may be hope of permanently healing the hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer from these tragic injuries. Imagine a world where people no longer need to live with conditions like these.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C., is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that fights to empower victims of spinal cord injury and other forms of accidents.