Josh’s Journey to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama for Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Josh Rivers Weights“Ok these stem cells might really be kicking in now! One of the leg machines I use I have only been able to do 30lbs max, over the last few months of going to the gym 3 times a week. Today all of a sudden I am able to do 70!!!!??? I am really in shock right now to see an increase like this out of nowhere.. just 2 days ago I was struggling with 30!! I was also able to add more weight to 2 out of the other 4 leg machines I use. I can’t believe it!!”

Note: The stem cell treatment protocol Josh underwent included multiple intravenous and intrathecal (into the spinal fluid) injections of umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells and his own bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells administered over the course of one month. For more information about stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury, visit: https://www.cellmedicine.com/stem-cell-therapy-for-spinal-cord-injury/

After stem cell therapy in Panama, former motocross champ aims for handcycling glory at 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo

Blake Colleton on Bike

By Ashleigh Stevenson Original Story Here

A former up-and-coming motocross champion who broke his back during a crash is aiming to represent Australia at the Tokyo Paralympics in a different sport.

Blake Colleton, 18, from Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales, fell during a motocross race in Victoria last year, resulting in paraplegia from the chest down.

He has taken up handcycling as part of his rehabilitation and is aiming to compete at the 2020 Paralympics in Japan.

Mr Colleton said he did not realise the extent of his injury when it first happened.

“It wasn’t too bad at first and then it sort of hit me a little bit when I was in hospital what actually had happened to myself,” he said.

“I was still happy with life and knew that it was just a change in direction – I just have to move on.

Karren Colleton with son, Blake Colleton

Karren Colleton with son, Blake Colleton

“I need to keep working hard and doing it for myself – not anyone else, just me.

“I was racing motocross professionally before the accident, so it’s just a change in direction for me.

“I definitely want to get to the Paralympics.”

In January, Mr Colleton and his mother Karen travelled to Panama in Central America so he could undergo stem cell treatment.

The therapy involved the intravenous and intrathecal (into the spinal fluid) injection of mesenchymal stem cells from human umbilical cord tissue and his own bone marrow.

The treatment is not available in Australia.

Karen Colleton said they hoped to return to Panama for a second round of treatment later this year.

“He’s got a lot more core muscle and lower back control, which helps so much when you’re a paraplegic,” Ms Colleton said.

“We’re hoping the second lot of treatment will move the injury lower to maybe bring back bladder and bowel function and lower body function.”

Stem cell treatments for spinal cord injury – Jamie Richie discusses her improvements

Jamie Richie discussed her treatments and improvements while undergoing her third round of stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.

Jamie’s first round of treatment comprised 8 intrathecal (into the spinal fluid) infusions of human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSC); 4 intravenous infusions of hUC-MSC; 2 intrathecal infusions of autologous (their own) bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC); 2 intravenous injections of BMMC and 19 physical therapy sessions over the course of one month. Her second round of treatments comprised half the infusions of the first.

My name is Jamie Richie. This is my third treatment here. I was diagnosed with a L-1 injury. That was back in January 1st, 2010.

What symptoms did you have before you came for treatment?

I had no movement from my L-1 level down. As far as my right leg, I couldn’t stand on it at all without a brace. If I had a brace on it I could stand and I could walk and all, with braces; and a more aggressive brace. My pain was very strong. My legs; the circulation was worse in my legs. Their color, they were very purple. I could not walk on a treadmill. I had a hard time walking on uneven ground.

What kind of improvements have you experienced since your first treatment?

I’ve improved. I’ve had like five major things after my very first treatment, which was a year ago in January. I was able to stand on my right leg without a brace and walk. My pain level dropped between a 10 down to a 6. It’s controllable. The circulation in my legs; my balance is better. I can carry things while walking with a walker. I can transfer something from one counter to the next. I can be in my kitchen, hold onto the counter and stand and get out a glass out of the cabinets. I can walk on a treadmill and I am actually able to walk three speeds higher than when I first started walking. So I’ve had great gains there. After my second treatment, I was able to walk even stronger on my right leg. I have better bladder control. I got better bladder control out of the first treatment. And I noticed that I didn’t get a whole lot until about two months after the treatment.

How has this experience changed your life?

This experience has changed my life, just one, the nerve pain. I’m more comfortable driving. I can walk barefoot on my right leg without any braces or… It’s just nice being able to walk barefoot. Being able to get onto the treadmill, that’s huge for me. I don’t have to drive to a park or a track and walk on a track. I can get on the treadmill and keep a good pace and keep better tracking of what my progress is. For my balance, being able to stand and take my clothes out of my washing machine and put them in my dryer to standing in the kitchen and being able to take a pan that has water in it and put it in the sink. I was unable to do any of that. If I were standing, would have to have help. Transferring, you know, something from one counter to the next. Walking on uneven ground is big for a life change. If someone comes to the house to pick me up, walking to the car. To be able to walk into a store, I can go to the grocery store, walk in, get into a power chair and do all my grocery shopping there. So, get back onto the walker and get back into my car. It’s given me more independence, which is very big for me.

What would you say to someone who is considering this treatment?

It’s not going to hurt you to try it. It’s going to hurt you not to try it. If I could suggest anything, I would just say as soon as you’re better from your injury where you are not in any more pain and able to get to therapy, I would go. And I would go as soon as you can. Otherwise, you’re going to sit back and go, “Gee what if I wouldn’t of? What if I had gotten?“ There are a lot of people to talk to. There are people who didn’t gain anything. I have not spoken to anybody who didn’t gain anything off a spinal cord injury. Do your homework. It’s worth it and it doesn’t hurt. I mean, it doesn’t hurt me. I can feel completely my whole back. So when I get the injections in my spine… The anesthesiologist is excellent. The doctor is excellent. I will have close to 20 injections in my back and I have had no bad experiences at all. I’ve had no negative side effects at all, none. I’ve only had positive side effects.

Spinal cord injury patient demonstrates progress after treatment at Stem Cell Institute Panama

Watch towards the end to see Daniel demonstrate something his doctors told him he would never do.

Daniel W suffered a T-8 complete spinal cord injury about 6 years ago. Daniel is at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama undergoing comprehensive courses of stem cell therapy that include intrathecal and intravenous injections of his own bone marrow-derived stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells harvested from human umbilical cords donated by mothers after normal healthy births.

About Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

More Patient Stories

Disclaimer: The results of testimonials of people who appear on this website who have undergone stem cell treatment are not necessarily typical. The treatments described on cellmedicine.com are not approved by the US FDA and are not considered to be standard of care for any condition or disease.

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: The Spinal Cord Journey

A short film about three spinal cord injury patients who share their stories of tragedy, hope and recovery following stem cell treatments for spinal cord injury at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. See them demonstrate their improvements by lifting themselves up, standing and even walking after stem cell therapy.

Stem Cell Therapy for spinal cord injury: Theo Kostoulas

Theo Kostoulas is a T-6 complete spinal cord injury patient. He received a course of 16 stem cell therapy injections using umbilical cord-derived stem cells and his own bone marrow-derived stem cells. The cells were injected both intravenously and intrathecally (into the spinal fluid). During his stay in Panama and as part of his treatment protocol, Theo went to 19 physical therapy sessions over the course of month.

“I can definitely say that after the second injection, I immediately actually started getting some leg sensation and touch back from below my injury level. It was me lying in bed while my mother was putting my sock on my feet. I was actually able to feel that and it was pretty amazing because I haven’t had and feeling or sensation at all from my injury level of T-6. Now, more towards the end here, I have actually been able to have bladder sensation. I am a person that usually cath’ed myself every four hours but now because I do have this sensation coming back, I tend to wait until I have the need to have to go. So it can be anywhere from six to seven hours. If I need to drink a lot of water before coming to treatment, I know ahead of time whether I need to cath myself sooner or not.”

Stem cell treatments for spinal cord injury: Daniel Campbell

After stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama, C-6 incomplete spinal cord injury patient, Daniel Campbell describes how his condition has improved since his first treatment. Daniel is in Panama for his second treatment during this recording

“…The trajectory of my recovery drastically took an upward turn. I got grip back, got a lot stronger and my blood pressure issue sort of went out the window. My lower back started firing so when I lean back in my chair, I don’t just fall.

Most recently my hip flexors started firing in certain positions so I can assist the therapist while crawling. Bowel and bladder sensation has gotten better. I have hot and cold sensation in my hands now. Incontinence is a thing of the past.

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation: A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation - A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Daniel Leonard in Panama

This is a research paper written by Rebecca Johnston, Daniel Leonard’s sister. She recently graduated from a Physical Therapy degree program, and wrote her Capstone paper about Daniel’s stem cell therapy treatment in Panama.

Daniel is presented anonymously in the paper, but Rebecca and Daniel have given their permission for this paper to be shared. Daniel’s ASIA scores (pre and post treatment) are in the appendix of this paper.

 

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation: A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Abstract:

Background and Purpose: Stem cell therapy for SCI is a potentially promising treatment with increasing interest. This case report describes the use of a particular stem cell therapy protocol for a patient with chronic spinal cord injury, and describes his subsequent therapy and outcomes.

Case Description: The patient is a 29-year-old male who is chronically injured from a cervical spinal injury, resulting in quadriplegia. The patient was treated with a combined protocol of intrathecal (IT) and intravaneous (IV) allogeneic MSC and CD34+ cells and IT autologous BMMC at 6 ½ years post-injury. The results track the patient’s physical therapy progress until 6 months following stem cell treatment.

Outcomes: Recovery of strength in upper extremity and lower extremity muscle groups was noted, along with a functional increase in grip strength, ability to ambulate with assistance, and a significant decrease in daily medications.
Discussion: This case supports further investigation into treatment of chronically injured SCI patients with stem cell therapy followed by physical therapy.

Manuscript word count: 4321

A few highlights:

“After the patient underwent the stem cell treatment and returned to outpatient physical therapy in his hometown clinic in the United States, his MMT scores were tested over the period of 5 months post-stem cell treatment…. The patient did not decrease in strength in any of the muscles tested, and experienced improvements in 6/13 upper extremity muscle groups, and 8/9 lower extremity muscle groups.”

“The patient also had an increase in grip strength. His grip strength was measured by his occupational therapist to be 5 lbs on the right and 25 lbs on the left at one month before his stem cell treatment. Six months later, his grip strength was measured to be 22 lbs on the right and 36 lbs on the left. The patient reported that this increase in grip strength led to functional improvements, such as being able to self-catheterize, which he was completely unable to do since his injury.”

“The patient was also able to ambulate for the first time in 5 years at approximately 4 months after finishing his treatment. He was able to ambulate in partial weight bearing with the harness and max assist of two for 40 yards at .5 MPH.”


The original post on Daniel Leonard’s blog can be found here.