AWAKENINGS

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

Amanda’s Progress–updates during the first year!

William Blake said:  “What is now proved was once only imagined.”

Human Embryonic Stem Cell First Treatment—June 25-August 17, 2007

Report:  August 17, 2007

·         Swelling has reduced significantly.

·         Spasticity is absent.  I am more flexible and I no longer feel the stiffness in my legs.

·         Muscle power in both legs has improved.  I am able to take resistance while moving hips in abduction and adduction, and I can bend both knees at will.  Hamstrings work on both legs (left is stronger); quadriceps in both thighs; glutemus maximus muscles in bottom (evident in backward crawl); contraction of muscles underneath both feet.  Big toe on right foot moves up and down; and smaller middle toes on left foot wiggle.  Deep sensation under both feet; pins and needles electrical tingles down both legs to toes.  Deep sensation in my bottom.  Overall heightened awareness and connectedness in my lower body to my toes.  Muscle tone in legs has increased.

·         Abdominal muscle strength has increased.  I am able to apply pressure during bladder and bowel movements.  Voiding urine ranges from 50% to completely emptying, depending on the time of day and fatigue.

·         Back muscles are stronger down my spine giving me more balance and control.

·         Nerve burning pain has subsided by 50%.

·         Overall energy levels have increased.

·         Most importantly, I have had zero negative side-effects from treatment.

 

January 27 – January 31, 2008

A Promise Kept

Four months at home of hard work and intense physical therapy with Tami, Gabrielle, Dale, and Zander; a weekly yoga session with Emily Hightower; and a weekly massage with CP; walking regularly in my leg braces and parallel bars; and cycling on my electrical stimulation bicycle three times a week has ALL PAID OFF!!!!!  I am pleased to report that Chavi (my adorable physical therapist in India), Dr. Shroff, Dr. Ashish Verma, and Mum are absolutely thrilled with my progress.  Having been gone for four months, they clearly see my strength and improvements.  It has been tough to monitor my own progress at home.   My trunk mobility and lower abdominal strength is remarkable. 

·         I can rotate my pelvis while on all fours;

·         I am able to lift up a hand balancing on two knees and one hand with ease and without falling over (originally I had difficulty simply balancing on all fours, let alone crawling forwards and backwards);

·         I am stronger when I lift up to a kneeling position on my knees, balancing with my therapist/partner and maintaining a straight posture with my hips forward;

·         I am able to slightly kick my leg (knee down to foot) away from the mattress when sitting on the edge (something I could never do before—quads and hamstrings);

·         from a sitting position in the wheelchair I can lift my legs one at a time and place one foot forward in front of the other, which is evidence of increased power in my leg muscles;

·         and Mum is amazed at my ability to place my legs on the bed one by one on my own without lifting them with my hands. 

Upon leaving India last August, I made a promise to Chavi that I would return stronger than when I left.  I kept that promise and Chavi is impressed.  While the stem cells continue to grow, I have rewarded their growth feeding them with the necessary conscious mental positivity and physical stimulation in exercise.

 

 

February 19, 2008

Improvements/changes in my body after the second treatment of HESCs

·         Heightened sensitivity and overall awareness in body and lower extremities.

·         Nerve burning pain has dissipated during the course of both first and second treatments.  Yet, during my most recent three-day procedure, the pain intensified and bled into my right hip and right thigh for the first time.  (Dr. Ashish Verma was pleased to hear that the procedure induced pain in the right side.)

·         My torso and abdominal core strength is outstanding.  It is stronger than ever!  When I hold my arms up above my head and lean to either side, I can hold the position for a few counts without falling over.

·         The quadriceps muscle at the front of my right thigh is stronger—when I sit on the side of the bed, I am able to slightly kick my right leg extending it up and out (which is greater than the left leg).  Last year I couldn’t do this movement at all.

·         The inner thigh muscle on my left leg is stronger.  Before the second treatment, there was no movement at all.  I can now lift my thigh against gravity.

·         Kneel balancing has improved.  I am more stable keeping my hips forward and holding a count to twenty with a lighter hand grasp on my partner’s arms.  My hips wobble less and I am more confident.

·         My muscle bulk has increased in my thighs and calf muscles.

·         My spasticity and swelling has decreased.

While I haven’t seen radical changes to my body this second time around, I remind myself that one percent or an iota of change is miraculous.  I am certain that my body will continue to get stronger after I have returned home to Colorado and progress with physical therapy and yoga regularly.

 

I am a Warrior of Light.  I will continue to hold strong, bravely fighting the odds, while feeling illuminated in love and healing.  I believe in the impossible. 

 

“A Warrior of Light is someone capable of understanding the miracle of life, of fighting to the last for something he believes in.”

– Paulo Coelho

 

New Movement since Beginning my Third HESC Treatment–May 2-June 2, 2008

Since beginning my third treatment, I have shown noticeable improvement in my strength. 

·         I am able to hold my kneel standing position on my knees for a longer period of time with less pressure on Chavi for balancing. 

·         Walking on my knees is easier and more balanced, with slightly less pressure on Chavi.

·         I am able to sit on a large therapy ball and balance on my own, holding my thighs with my hands, and then lifting one hand at a time holding for ten counts.  This is a first!  Tami will be proud of me.

·         Chavi is practicing holding my knees while I brace myself with my arms in the parallel bars and standing without calipers (leg braces) on my own.  This is the most difficult exercise as I cannot yet stand alone without Chavi’s support.  Mentally and visually it is a good exercise to aspire toward my goal of standing alone on my own unsupported.

·         While it is difficult to move my quadriceps against gravity, I have discovered that I can move my leg from the knee to foot forward while lying on my side.  This position allows my quad to fire more easily and the movement is more obvious.

New feelings in my body…

During Judy’s visit, I had a three-day epidural procedure, and a deep spinal muscle procedure at Gataum Nagar’s Nu Tech Mediworld.  Millions of HESCs were injected into the outer sheath of my spinal cord and for the first time since becoming paralyzed sixteen years ago, the pain was excruciating.  I have noticed that my body has become super sensitive and as my sensation increases in my pelvic area, so has the pain.  This is different from the nerve burning pain that I have experienced for so long.  In fact, the horrible nerve burning pain has almost dissipated completely.  This pain is a real bodily ache.  When the stem cells are injected into me during all procedures, I feel genuine pain.  It’s real…and I welcome it.  I breathe through the pain turning it into a delicious pain that I try to love, opening myself to the newness of it all.  I haven’t felt this type of pain in my pelvis, my hips, my buttocks, my thighs and even slightly into my calf muscles for many years.  As the stem cells were injected into me, the pain bled down into the lower half of my body like mercury rising into a thermometer.  My legs felt heavy and my sinus cavities were pressure-filled. 

 

As a result of the three-day epidural catheter procedure, I felt stronger in my last week of physical therapy and my balance improved even more.  I was able to sit on the therapy ball with one hand in the air balancing perfectly still holding for at least ten seconds.  This is a first. 

 

Another noticeable improvement is that for the first time in sixteen years, I can now feel muscle fatigue and aches midway through my exercises.  For so long I have wished for my legs to ache like they used to after dancing or running hard.  Last week I felt this same sensation.  My thigh muscles actually ached.  Wow.  How I love the pain.  As I sit here typing, I can here Dr. Ashish’s smiling voice exclaiming, “Superrrrrrrrb!” in his perfectly Indian accent.

4 Comments»

  JEFF wrote @

HI AMANDA: I AM A 20 YR QUAD. I WOULD LIKE TO GET UPDATES ON YOU & OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN TREATED? HAS YOUR IMPROVEMENT SINCE RETURNING HOME IMPROVED ANYMORE, OR HAS IT PLATEAUED?
WILL THE PHYSICIAN BEGIN PUBLISHING OR RELEASING STUDIES ANY TIME SOON?
THERE SEEMS TO BE MANY WHO WOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE.

CHEERS,

JEFF

  aspenamanda wrote @

Jeff: Read my most recent post re my improvements. Please feel free to call me at my office at 970-927-3630 to discuss further.

Cheers, Amanda

  Pam Mitchell wrote @

Have suffered with Borrelia B. and Babesia WA1 for 15 years. Started IV treatment with IV Flagyl, IV azithromycin and IV Rocephin. Oral INH has seemed to keep the cyclical malaria like sweats at bay. When IV therapy and INH are stopped. I go back to square one. I thank God every day for finding Dr. David Martz and Dr. William Harvey who sent my blood work to IGENEX Lab and finally finding me again in 2004. Had a brain rupture in August of 1999. While in the Denver University hospital ICU after left posterior artery rupture on the Circle of Willis was clamped I started feeling great. Since August of 1989 I started my journey to Hell. I had been horse back riding in the hill country of San Antonio and one day later I awakened with a grape size tick attached to the back of my head. My husband removed the tick and we took it into Ft. Sam Houston’s Hospital – Brooke Army Medical Center. Being from the state of Wisconsin I was aware of Lyme disease and wanted the tick checked. I was told there was no chance of Borrelia (Lyme) ticks in Texas. From that day forward Brain Fog, Extreme Fatigue, Dizzy Spells, Strange auras of the eye that left me unable to work as an RN. No one could find a thing wrong. After many weeks of blood work I was told nothing was wrong with me. I was a daily jogger, tennis player, gymn bunny, raising three children and working three shifts a week as an OB R.N. This all came to an abrupt stop the day the tick was discovered. I went to a pulmanary doctor with an Oxygen Saturation of 85%. My PFT tests were at 20%. What was going on? I finally asked to see a psychiatrist and 10 minutes with me he felt I was sound and that I had disease or syndrome that they had not diagnosed as yet. I developed floaters in the right eye that obstructed my vision to the point that I was using the left one only. I decided to drag myself to the gymn and start a program that would allow me to excersise. Since I kept developing tumors– feet, back, cervix. I would have surgery. Recover slowly and back to the gymn. Walking was difficult, but I could Nordic Track and got up to 45 minutes 5 times a week and every other day I would lift light weights. Then go home and sleep for hours. At least I was excercising. My right knee kept swelling and I was told that I had osteoarthritis. When I would lift my head I would almost pass out. Arthritis of cervical spine, and L5 and S1 herniated. Finally in 1999 had the brain rupture. They awakenened me every hour on the hour — I had not felt so good in 10 years. Little did I know that it was the Rocephin that they were infusing that was helping to kill what I did not know I had at that point. I started rehab. to talk clearly and walk a straight line after the brain rupture and felt my problems were resolved. My husband was reassigned to Ft Sam Houston in San Antonio and after my brain swelling went down I joined him for our 4th tour in San Antonio. Six months later the signs and symptoms that had taken me down prior to the brain rupture returned. This time I saw an infectious disease doctor told him that I thought my problem had been a faulty brain artery. He did run an Elisa test and results were not conclusive. When he found out that I had had two weeks of IV Rocephin while hospitalized with the artery clamping he stated that even if I did have Lyme Disease that the Rocephin I had was enough to kill it. I told him that all the symptoms had returned and now I felt I had malaria. At that he almost laughed me out of the office. He said that my husband and I had never been stationed where Malaria would be a problem. Shortly after leaving his office I decided that my husband and I would not retire in Texas. I wanted to go back to Colorado Springs. Our last tour in 36 years in the Army was back to Ft. Carson, Co. Luckily, there was a Lyme Literate doctor there and I had tests sent to IGENEX Lab–to find I was positive for two types of Borrelia and positive for Babesia Microti and Babesia WA1. My doctor explained I was very sick and had been for years. I wanted to kiss him. I was beginning to think I was a head case. I had three sleep studies, C-pap and By-pap made the apnea worse but straight Oxygen allowed REM sleep. By now my cervical spine was in pain 24/7 and I had to sleep on a love seat because my lower spine would go into spasms if I did not have my knees up. I had the cervical fusion in 2005. The pain relief was amazing and no more passing out when I tipped my head up. In may of 2005 I started the IV therapy and my life became my own. However, I developed a tumor on the ball of my right foot and could not walk. It was removed and it took forever to heal. Now my lower spine was causing the right leg to go numb and getting up from a seated position one day and my ankle was badly damaged. Two months in a cast and two months after in a boot. Then therapy for 20 sessions. The doctor ordered a discogram and found that the L5 and S1 were ruptured and now the lower back is in terrible pain and obstructing lymph flow. The Lyme clinic in the Springs closed in July and I can not get in to see a Dr. R. Stricker in San Francisco until February. I need the surgery, but would not be able to travel by then. Just fell 19 steps Wed. of last week and have left knee imobilized, rt. wrist in brace, hip movement on rt. side limited and bruises from head to toe. I must keep my apt. with the doctor in California. I also need advice on possible stem cell because the IV’s are a God Send, but the army doctor read the New England Journal of Medicine article for Oct. 3rd. and feels there is no such thing as chronic Lyme. I begged him to continue Dr. Martz’s treatment until I see Dr. Stricker in Feb. If you have any hope for me please write. Thanks a million for your help. Fondly, Pam

  gautam lakra wrote @

Hi Amanda,
I am an incomplete para T3-4. I am post 8 months. have u noticed any more improvements in june? Should I go for the treatment right now or should I wait for a year when I start platueing? I have sensation in my legs but cannot feel pain or temperature. I have some bowel sensation and also can feel when the bladder is full. Plz advise.
Thank you,and keep up the good work. i admire u for ur guts.
Warmest regards, Gautam


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