AWAKENINGS

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

10.6.07 — Andrew McGinty’s Testimonial: Stemcell patient believes he’ll walk again

Andrew McGinty with his childrenStemcell patient believes he’ll walk again

For the first time in two years Andrew McGinty’s feet respond to tickling.

The slight downward movement of his toes, which most of us take for granted, is a cause for celebration for the Palmwoods dad and his family.

And it has given him hope that he will walk again.

The 41-year-old has just returned from two-and-a-half months in India, where he underwent stem cell therapy at the Delhi Nu-tech Medicare facility, run by Dr Geeta Shroff.

He learnt about the clinic after seeing Sonya Smith, a Brisbane woman he met in hospital after they were both first paralysed, give a television interview on her return from her first round of treatment claiming she had sensations in her lower body.

Andrew’s spinal cord was damaged between his T6 and T7 vertebrae after a motorcycle accident in Caloundra in October 2005.

After contacting Dr Shroff and speaking with other patients, Andrew and his family made the decision to put their life on hold in June and go to a country they knew next to nothing about in the hopes the former concreter would regain some feeling.

Now, a fitter, more relaxed Andrew is sitting in his Palmwoods home, demonstrating his toes moving.

“I couldn’t do that before,” he said, while his partner of nine years, Sarah-Jayne Matthews runs her nails down the soles of his feet, causing his toes to curl downwards.

“Sarah could run her fingers up and down my feet all day and there would be no response.

“I don’t have the feeling yet, but they are a lot more sensitive.

“And now the ball has started rolling, I’m going to keep it rolling.”

Andrew underwent a series of injections and intense physiotherapy during the two-and-a-half months he spent in India.

He was one of several patients, including six Australians, receiving the treatment, for a series of conditions including blindness, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s Disease and other spinal injuries.

While he admits that his improvements were not as big as he was hoping for, he has more sensation in his lower limbs, his nerve pain has become more manageable and his bladder has strengthened.

“You don’t know what’ll happen, but in my mind, after the improvements I’ve had I know it is working,” he said.

“I have more good days now, then bad. Some days the nerve pain was so bad and for me, the only thing I found that alleviated it was lying down. Now I am up until 6-7 o’clock at night. I feel happier.

“And with my bladder now, my body is doing most of the work.

“My body is identifying when my bladder is getting full, so it is passing the urine. I haven’t had that since the accident.”

He said he also has more strength in his trunk and to some extent, can also crawl, which he said he couldn’t have done before the treatment.

“They are straight up with you. They tell you it is going to take time. You can’t go there expecting miracles, or a quick fix. So you can’t expect too much. It comes down to your injury and how much damage you have done. It takes time for the body to heal, for the stem cells to regenerate.

“I believe in this procedure. After what I saw with my own eyes over there, I mean I saw people with lower breaks (those with spinal injuries further down their body) move their legs under their own steam. I saw that. I saw them when they came in and couldn’t move to having treatment and moving their legs up.”

The family are hoping to save enough money to buy a physio-table to help with Andrew’s on-going physiotherapy so he can retain the muscle strength he has built ahead of his second treatment planned for next year.

He hopes to be able to return to India for the second round, which lasts for two to three weeks.

“I’m going to work to keep my body in as good as condition as I can so I am in good physical state for the next round.

“It is hard to explain to people who aren’t in my position, but I know I have improved. It’s given me hope. I know, that one day I will walk again.

In the mean time, he is hoping the Australian government will change its attitude to stem cell therapy.

“Imagine if Johnny Howard or one of his family members ended up in a wheelchair. I bet we’d be looking at having the procedure here then.

“They have closed their eyes and ears to it and they are not even considering it. But I know it helps. It is something they really need to look into, because there are so many people it could be helping. I know. I have seen it.”

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1 Comment»

  deba williams wrote @

i would love it if u can get back with me..my life is on hold….my daughter 15 , is a c-5 injury..im concidering stem cell treatment..please help if u can


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