First paralyzed human treated with stem cells has now regained his upper body movement.

Imagine losing control of your car and waking up in the hospital paralyzed from the neck down. This is the story of Kristopher Boesen, who experienced a life-changing moment where 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 might never be able to function from the neck down again.

The Procedure

Kris was offered the opportunity to go through a potentially life-changing procedure involving stem cells, which ‘have the capability to repair injured nervous tissue through replacement of damaged cells‘ . The experimental procedure did not guarantee any restoration to Kris’s paralysis, but to him, the risk was worth taking.

The process began in April where Dr. Liu injected 10 million AST-OPC1 cells directly into Kris’ cervical spinal cord. (AST-OPC1 cells come from donated eggs that are fertilized in vitro (ie. in a petri dish). For more information on where stem cells come from, check out this resource.)  Dr. Liu explains that; “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.

Kris was offered the opportunity to go through a potentially life-changing procedure involving stem cells, which ‘have the capability to repair injured nervous tissue through replacement of damaged cells(1). The experimental procedure did not guarantee any restoration to Kris’s paralysis, but to him, the risk was worth taking.

The process began in April where Dr. Liu injected 10 million AST-OPC1 cells directly into Kris’ cervical spinal cord. (AST-OPC1 cells come from donated eggs that are fertilized in vitro (ie. in a petri dish). For more information on where stem cells come from, check out this resource.)  Dr. Liu explains that; “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.

The Results

After a mere 3 weeks of therapy, Kris started showing signs of improvement, and within 2 months he could answer the phone, write his name and operate a wheelchair.  He had regained significant improvement in his motor functions; which are the transmissions of messages from the brain to muscle groups to create movement (3).

Kris recovered two spinal chord levels which made a huge difference in his movement abilities. It was the difference between minimal movement or none at all and being able to function on his own. Kris regained the incredibly important aspect of independence.

After seeing the results of stem cell therapy, Kris was bowled over, saying; “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 are not able to make any promises that Kris’s condition will further improve, they can keep experimenting with stem cell research to try and improve the likelihood of it working fully on paralysis.

So far, they have made huge steps forward and will hopefully continue to do so in their quest to solve paralysis, by teaming up with ‘associate faculty based in departments across KSOM and the University to study stem cell-driven new medicine‘, Dr. Liu and his team at USC are determined to keep researching stem cells and much more!

Stem cell research is ongoing and can be used in many ways other than paralysis; from Parkinson’s and diabetes to cancer

About the Author

Amanda-Mary
I am known as Mary which is my middle name. I am a holistic practitioner and Senior Cancer researcher. I can be a gentle woman, I have a big heart and big personality! I'm the caretaker type. When you are on the side of the road with a flat Tyre, I'm the lady who stops, when you need to pull out onto the road, i am the lady that gives way. When you are coming through the door, I'm the lady who holds it for you and gives you a humble smile and a soft hello, I will always give up my seat to others regardless of age, disability or gender. I work hard with my mind and my hands and I am more "in tune" with life, truth and nature, than most people.I am a well educated professional lady , I am a Cool ,respectful, and a comprehensive person, who really does experience love in its full sense.I can seldom be social, and on occasion an outgoing person. I am well balanced in my life. I am a lady of true character who believes in giving people a fair chance.My children are the most important people in my life, although all none dependent, leading busy lives themselves. I am well read and well traveled, I am not materialistic, I have old fashioned views and morals, I can be blunt when it comes to the truth. I don't tolerate fools and thieves lightly. I am earthy and down to earth with a great sense of humor. I am considerate to my surroundings, i have a love of the outdoors and nature in general.I am a cancer researcher ofI am the nurture carer type. I have been a cancer researcher for almost 2 decades. I work at a Cancer Healing Center as a holistic practitioner. I speak truth about what really cures cancer, openly. I speak about how the medical industry is failing us.I get knocked down but I get up again and come back stronger. I am faithful to my own soul, mind and body. I am a harmless flirt. I have few friends but those I have I adore and will do anything for. I am most often described as eccentric and energetic.My Philosophy of life is to live every day like its my last and every night like it was my 1st and this keeps me young, healthy and fit. No regrets! I am young at heart, full of fun.That's me, love and light.

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