Jim Parker, Attorney at Law is a former Texas State Legislature member who was treated with umbilical-cord derived stem cells for heart disease at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama in March 2011.
Jim was kind enough to answer some questions about his condition before and after treatment. He also discusses his trip to Panama, the clinic and its staff.
What is your diagnosis and when were you diagnosed?
Exactly what my diagnosis was I cannot say in medical terms. Factually speaking, I had five (5) by-passes in 1995 (or thereabouts) and then had nine (9) stents added over the next 13 or 14 years. I began to experience severe angina in January and February of 2011 and was hospitalized in February with a series of heart attacks. I had consulted my cardiologist in Abilene and had also gone to a cardiologist in Dallas who was supposed to be really good. They both told me that there was simply nothing else I could do. When I was released from the local hospital in early March of 2011, my family doctor gave me a bottle of morphine and a bottle of nitroglycerine and basically told me to make it as well as I could for as long as I could.
Panama did not exactly change my life. It literally gave my life back to me.
We had heard about the Panama operation (Stem Cell Institute) from local people who had gone for various reasons. Every one of them seemed well-pleased with the results they were able to get. After release from the local hospital in early March of 2011, I sent my medical records to Panama and arranged an appointment in mid-March. I traveled to Panama in a wheel chair because I was not able to walk in the airport.
Upon arrival in Panama the first day was spent drawing my blood for blood tests. The next 7 days the (umbilical cord-derived) stem cells were infused back into my body.
I found the staff to be very helpful and apparently knowledgeable. Our needs outside the clinic were well taken care of and we were very satisfied with our experience.
I steadily improved after Panama to the point where I have now resumed a normal life (at as normal as a 68 year-old guy can expect) and I am back at work. I have not had to use a nitroglycerine pill in over a year and, so far as I can tell, I have no immediate heart problems and but for the damage suffered from my earlier episodes, my heart would be in good shape. My longtime cardiologist will still see me but he believes Panama was some sort of voodoo and I have just been lucky. I continue to take a mild blood pressure medication and I do still take blood thinner. However, about 6 months after Panama my blood pressure got so low they had to cut down the strength of the medication.
What symptoms did you have before you cam for treatment?
Prior to Panama I had a series of heart attacks over a number of years and was eating nitroglycerine tablets like M&Ms.
Which treatments did you try in the U.S. first, and when did you know that you needed to find help outside of the country?
I tried every treatment available in the US of A. Had every test know to man. I mean 5 by-passes and 9 stents many not be a record but it has to be well beyond average.
Why did you choose The Stem Cell Institute in Panama for stem cell treatment?
I chose the Stem Cell Institute in Panama because several local folks had gone there and they were pleased with the results. And, I really had no place to go but the cemetery.
How were the doctors at the clinic? How were the facilities?
The only doctor I recall seeing was Dr. Paz. The facilities were at least on par with what you would find in the US and the staff was more solicitous and helpful than you would find in the US.
How are your symptoms now? How have they improved?
I have no symptoms now. (Knock on wood). I have some breathing issues but I am told that is COPD and it is not really all that bad. I could live another 100 years feeling as good as I do now.
Have you reduced or eliminated any of the medications you were taking before stem cell therapy?
I have cut way back on medication I was using prior to Panama and feel I could probably cut back some more; however, I have to give the local MD’s something to work on. And, by the way, I go to the doctor as little as possible now. Maybe twice a year at most.
How soon did you start seeing/noticing a difference? How was your overall experience?
I began to notice a difference (maybe it was just anticipation) about 6 to 8 weeks after returning from Panama. It has gotten better and better since then. Since I can move around, I have lost over 40 pounds and now am at 6 feet tall and 215 pounds, down from over 250 pounds.
How has this changed your life?
Panama did not exactly change my life. It literally gave my life back to me. I have been married to the same woman for over 50 years and we were able to become intimate again. I am out and about every day and pretty much do what I want to do and go where I want to go.
Many people should know about this option. There are people dying here in the land of the free and the home of the brave each day that are in better shape than I was when I went to Panama.
And, by the way, I am not subject to flights of fancy and accepting things a thinking person might not accept. I hold a doctor of jurisprudence degree and have been a criminal defense attorney all my adult life. I am about as cynical and skeptical as you will find but I am a believer in your process.