AWAKENINGS

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

First two weeks: Visits with friends–Rob Margolin, Elizabeth, and CP

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Robert, Ravi Paul, Tami and Elizabeth 

Two weeks have sped by keeping up with Delhi’s frenzied pace.  I have been more social here than at home.  Robert Margolin appeared with his friend Elizabeth soon after Tami and I arrived.  I met Rob at The Stem Cell Summit in Boston last September and challenged him that if his mind was curious and he wanted to see what was happening in Delhi with Human Embryonic Stem Cells, then why not visit?  Without hesitation, Rob jumped on a plane and ventured out of the United States for the first time in his life.  Elizabeth is an intelligent, gorgeous, fun medical student and both she and Rob were an absolute delight.  Rob has come to feel like a brother.  His knowledge on the world of stem cells is astounding and he became an immediate walking encyclopedia I could refer to when a question or thought popped into my mind.  Rob’s link to his website is http://www.stemcellresources.org/index.html which dispels a ton of credible information on stem cells including general resources, teaching tools, news and journals, and policies and ethics.  It was a privilege to have Robert visit, meet Dr. Geeta Shroff and Dr. Ashish Verma, and see what is deemed by many to be the holy grail of medicine alive and working in human patients.  One cannot deny that every patient in this hospital shows improvement and one cannot leave this place with a changed mindset having witnessed both science and resilience of the human spirit at play and in perfect unison.

I look forward to further collaborations with Robert in the United States.  He is a mover and shaker, and entrepreneurial at heart.  It is reassuring knowing that such a young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and sincere individual has visited Delhi.  The mere fact that he understands me, Dr. Shroff, and will be a cheerleader rather than a naysayer for this treatment means more to me than anything.  Thank you Rob for taking the time out of your busy life, and money from your own pocket, to witness the little miracles that are taking place daily with human embryonic stem cell therapy at Nutech Mediworld. 

The social calendar has been “chocablock” as the Aussie’s would say, or “full-to-the-brim”.  CP Kanipe (my beautiful massage therapist from Aspen) and her husband Steven paid a spontaneous visit while touring around India.   I am so grateful that they took the time out of their schedule to come to the hospital, meet Chavi, record my physical therapy on video, and share some quality Delhi time with Tami and me.  I could tell that after travelling for ten days they were fed up with haggling and India in general.  Delhi pushed them to their limits.  After Steven’s shoes were stolen on a train to Agra to see the Taj, they almost called it quits.  Thank God CP has big feet as Steven is wearing her tennis shoes for the remainder of their trip.  They spent just one full day in Delhi opting to fly back to the South where warm beaches, tepid water, and cleaner air awaited. 

Delhi’s smog is awful and is far worse in the winter months.  The air is thick with fumes, my eyes sting, and I can’t inhale a full breath.  When I travel by tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) I wrap a scarf around my face doused with droplets of eucalyptus oil.  At night homeless people huddle around open fires on sidewalks to keep warm and cook.  Thick smoke infiltrates the atmosphere mixed with exhaust fumes and a gray-brown haze envelopes the streets.  Trees are brown and dusty.  Dirt hangs in space.  Cloudy days keep the smog thick like soup and I find it almost unbearable.  When the nurses take my blood pressure three times a day, I am amazed that my oxygen saturation is generally 100% or 99%.  I keep thinking it’ll drop twenty points but living at high altitude has obviously served me well.

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