Another competitive ballroom dancer back in the game after stem cell therapy

Emerald IEditor’s Note: Deborah received human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells

My name is Deborah, from Southern California.

Occupation: Certified Interior Designer with a Masters degree in Interior Design.

Diagnosis: Patella chondromalacia with thinning of cartilage, mostly involving the medial facet and at the median. There is early degenerative changes with small marginal spurs involving the femoral patellar compartment and the medial and lateral femorotibial compartments. There is no fracture, osteochondral or loose body. Also localized inflammation of the Hoffa’s fat pad, anterior to the transverse. (All of these findings were from an MRI taken on June 15, 2011).

Symptoms before treatment: severe pain, difficulty in walking, bending, standing, sitting, exercising, sleeping…life was not fun.

Treatments/drugs: Aleve, Tylenol, Celebrex, acupuncture, physical therapy, custom brace, ace elastic braces, interviewed /consults with three independent orthopedic surgeons, possible knee replacement, arthroscopic surgery to mend torn meniscus.

My friend and ballroom dance competitor, Dr. Janet Vaughan convinced me after I had been researching other alternatives here in the United States for over a year, to contact Dr. Barnett at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama to see if I was a candidate for stem cell therapy. Janet was kind enough to email Dr. Barnett for me and tell her I would be filling out the paperwork online and sending it to her ASAP. Dr. Barnett was extremely responsive and my husband and I soon had a conference call with Dr. Paz Rodriguez. He was kind, gracious and patient with all of our questions. We were soon on our way with an appointment to have stem cell therapy in Panama City, Panama!

I am now able to get back to my competitive ballroom dancing and doing well! I have less pain going up and down stairs (even though I am careful and always aware of my knees), I walk easier, exercise and am back to a normal life style. Am I at 100% ? No…but at 62 years old and being athletic all my life with snow skiing, water skiing, volleyball, tennis, racquetball, zoomba and other athletic movements I feel terrific even if I am at 80-90% of my capability! We are back to travelling the world and I am thrilled… I am living my life! And my knee is not dictating my life.

Impression of the clinic: The doctors, staff and driver, Javier were fabulous!!! Everyone made me and my husband feel comfortable and all were compassionate, personable, professional, helpful, friendly and always welcome to keep in touch! They always welcomed all of our questions and never made us feel uncomfortable in asking! Dr. Hernandez was with me all the way and gave me his cell number 24/7 and helped me through the language barrier since my Spanish is quiet weak! Everyone was just great!!!

What would I tell someone considering stem cell therapy: Do your homework… research and get referrals! You have nothing to lose and a life to gain! The Stem Cell Institute is terrific in their work and research! I have told many of my friends and individuals who find out through others that I had stem cell therapy. Unfortunately none have moved forward and try other options and still have no results…I feel sorry for them! Some do…and some do not.