Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

My Schedule for My Third HESC Treatment

Dr. Geeta Shroff and Dr. Ashish Verma

My schedule for the month is as follows:

·         2 HESC injections per day

·         Mondays and Tuesdays:  HESCs administered intravenously in higher dosages

·         May 7th:  Caudal Procedure—one day spinal procedure

·         May 12th:  Lumbar Puncture Procedure—an overnight two-day procedure that has the susceptibility to cause a horrible migraine headache (and fingers crossed God-forbidding…no vomiting!)

·         May 17th:  Deep Spinal Muscle Procedure

·         May 21—May 23:  Three-day Epidural Caudal Procedure

Dr. Shroff and Dr. Ashish were kind enough to give me my schedule in advance, so hopefully we have a plan which will give me enough recuperation time to leave on my June 2nd departure date.

When I arrived on Friday night I admit that I was filled with the raw emotion of being by myself and anxious about the forthcoming treatment.  Delhi is not easy.  I am challenged often and my emotions rollercoaster with anticipation of what might be.  I wonder how my body will change and if I will show any radical improvements.  I then tell myself to let go of all expectations and simply “roll” with flow.  What will be will be.  My mind is set, my body is as prepared as it will be, and my spirit is calm.  I am a million miles away from all those who I love and hold close to my heart, yet I rejoice that I am here.  India is a gift.  I am surrounded by my endearing Indian family and a community of phenomenal patients and caregivers who are filled with hope.  Optimism reigns over this jewel in Delhi.  The incurable show improvements with tiny miracles taking place daily.  It is this optimism that infuses me with energy and instills the hope deep inside my gut.  I notice that returning to this hospital is more than daily shots of human embryonic stem cells.  Belief is here without doubt.  An air of sanguinity exudes from every patient, physical therapist, nurse, doctor, receptionist, ward boy, or doorman.  Optimism becomes my drug. 

I feed my soul reminding myself why I have travelled half way around the world to continue plodding along my path.  I am motivated to work hard.  I watch the other patients who are all striving for something better…that something being a better quality of life. 

Ball balancing with Chavi.


Leah practices her “waddle walk”.

That’s what it boils down to, and a better quality of life is different for each and every one of us.  For Leah, it is to toss away her cane and walk “normally” and gracefully, free of muscle spasms and pain.  For eighteen-year-old Elaine it is combating her Lyme Disease and regaining energy.  For me, quality of life means regaining any new sensation or muscle power in my lower extremities.  For the motor neurone patients (ALS) who are literally fighting for life, quality can only mean stabilizing their disease and then hopefully regaining strength (or the ability to breathe, lift a limb, write, or voice “I love you.”).  For Perry, a C-2 quadriplegic from Australia, quality means getting rid of his ventilator forever and breathing on his own. 

Perry breathes on his own!

It is all possible.  I am witness to what the naysayers believe to be the impossible.  Each time I am immersed into this world away from the comforts of my home, I feel like the most blessed individual on Earth.

My precious yoga instructor and friend Emily Hightower arrives on Saturday evening.  Em is braving India to be my caregiver while she leaves behind her little boy, Oz, and her husband, Brian.  Here’s a slice of Emily’s enthusiasm from a recent email, which is truly infectious: 

Oh my amazing, incredible, blessing of a friend! I CAN’T WAIT TO COME TO INDIA!!! INDIA INDIA INDIA INDIA…..I think about it all the time…. I am feeling so ready, and so perfectly tuned into the trip with you, and you’re letter brings to light all of the reasons I am so blessed to get to be with you on such an amazing adventure…. I love you SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!  You are a goddess.  And I am eager to get going on this trip….my mom came yesterday and brought me a new luggage piece like I’ve never had, and I’m already packed!  So look out, blondy!  I’m heading to YOU!  and I’m bringing all of my massage oils, aromatherapy, facial kit….foot stuff….why not?  Let’s turn NuTech Mediworld into a spa!  See you soon sister, Em”

I cannot wait to have Emily in this space so she can bear witness to the miracles, hopes, and living dreams that are taking place in this universe away.  After Emily, I will have my friend Judy for a full two weeks—Yeah!  I am so fortunate!

For now, it’s off to have my dessert after breakfast…a shot of stem cells.  Then an hour of physical therapy with Chavi, lunch in my room, more physical therapy and possibly standing in my leg braces.

With love as always. 

Namaste, Amanda xoxo

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