Video: Stem Cell Therapy in Panama with Dr. Riordan and Mel Gibson

Host Michael Beattie discusses stem cell therapy using *human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCT-MSCs)  at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama with renowned applied stem cell scientist and founder, Neil Riordan, Pa, PhD and acclaimed actor, director and producer Mel Gibson.

Dr. Riordan discusses the miraculous progress of a spinal cord injury patient and pilot whose doctors said that he would never walk again.  He talks about where the stem cells come from, how they work and why they can treat so many seemingly different conditions.  Dr. Riordan explains how umbilical cords, and subsequently, hUCT-MSCs used at the Stem Cell Institute are carefully selected using molecular screening.  He also discusses why mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cords function better than MSCs from adults, especially as they age or if they are suffering from a disease like multiple sclerosis.  For example. MSCs from a newborn multiply exponentially compared to MSCs from an older adult.

Mel Gibson discusses his father’s miraculous recovery, literally from his deathbed after receiving hUCT-MSCs at the age of 92.  He’s currently 99 and still going strong having been treated in Panama several times since then.  Mel also discusses his personal experiences in Panama.

Watch all this and more.

*umbilical cord tissue harvested after normal, healthy births

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.

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: Trish Stressman

Stem cell recipient Trish Stressman discusses her recovery from spinal cord injury after undergoing stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. Ms. Stressman has regained control of her core and is now able to stand and walk with a walker.

I now have my abs, back, obliques, hip flexors, and glutes all contracting!

“My name is Trish Stressman. On May 26, 2007 I was in an ATV accident and suffered a burst fracture of my T-6 vertebrae, which left me with a bruised spinal cord. I was labeled a complete spinal cord injury with no movement or feeling below my T-6 injury line. Two years later I found out about Cell Medicine. I wish that I would have found out even earlier because it was great to have “hope” again. I went to Costa Rica for my stem cell treatment. The facilities there were great. They were very clean, professional, organized and modern. The Dr.’s at Cell Medicine and at the Cima Hospital were amazing. They always took lots of time with me and they truly cared about me and my recovery. I always felt safe and knew I could contact them at any time. The Physical Therapy there was also amazing. Within two months of getting the umbilical cord blood and my own bone marrow stem cells through intrathecal injections and IV’s I gained a lot. I now have my abs, back, obliques, hip flexors, and glutes all contracting! I am working now to bring them to full strength and they are almost there. I can stand for an hour now locking my own hips in place while not placing my hands on any support. My knees are not locking on their own yet but I hope to gain that back in the future.”

– Trish Stressman

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: Juan Carlos Murillo

Juan Carlos Murillo is a commercial airline pilot who suffered spinal cord injuries in 4 separate areas of his spinal cord. Doctors told him that his injury was “complete” and that he would never walk again. After completing four rounds of stem cells at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama, Juan Carlos is walking again, driving a car and has recently passed his commercial airline pilot physical examination. He expects to begin flying again for an airline within the next few months.

“The Stem Cell Institute states that stem cell therapy is not a miracle cure, but I think for us, the patients, our parents and all of our relatives, it is a miracle cure…”

UPDATE May 2011

Juan Carlos Murillo is a commercial airline pilot who suffered spinal cord injuries in 4 separate areas of his spinal cord. Doctors told him that his injury was “complete” and that he would never walk again. After completing four rounds of stem cells at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama, Juan Carlos is walking again, driving a car and has recently passed his commercial airline pilot physical examination. He expects to begin flying again for an airline within the next few months.

“The Stem Cell Institute states that stem cell therapy is not a miracle cure, but I think for us, the patients, our parents and all of our relatives, it is a miracle cure…” – Juan Carlos Murillo

Before he received stem cells, from the waist down, Juan Carlos had no sensation, no movement and was suffering from significant neuropathic pain. He was classified a ASIA “A”. After his first course of stem cells in November 2008, his neuropathic pain was reduced on a scale of 1 to 10 from a 10 beforehand to a 3 afterwards.

His second course of stem cells in February 2009, Juan Carlos starting experiencing movement in his left leg and feeling in certain areas of his leg. He also started gaining muscle mass.
At the time of his third round in June 2009, Juan Carlo was driving an automatic car with his left leg and taking his first steps with a walker and crutches. He had about 80% sensitivity in his left leg.

Juan Carlos received his fourth round in November 2010. By that time, he had recovered his right leg and discontinued using crutches to walk. He was now able to walk with a cane and drive his manual transmission car. He now competes in 4×4 races.

He has now passed his commercial pilot physical. He has started flying again and expects to be employed once more as a commercial pilot within the next one or two months.

November 2010
I am a commercial pilot. On May 13th of 2008 was in a plane crash in the town of Cartago in Costa Rica. As a result of this accident I suffered a complete lesion at L1 and fracture of T12, L1 and L2. I had two surgeries in Costa Rica and one in Chile to stabilize my spine leaving me with 8 screws and 4 titanium rods from T11 to L3 and a titanium spacer for my L1 vertebrae. After this my condition did not improve. I had complete paralysis from the hips down, suffered from neuropathic pain, which on scale from 0 to 10, most commonly reached 10. After returning from my last surgery I was offered stem cell treatment with stem cells from umbilical cord which began in October 2008 with five intrathecal (lumbar puncture) injections. A few weeks after finishing this treatment my neuropathic pain become less common and mostly low-intensity. I also regained bladder control. I received a second treatment in February 2009 with 5 other applications. After this I began to notice changes in my legs with some muscle contractions and sensitivity in certain places. I continued my physical therapy and was able to have better contractions and started to regain strength and contractions in new places. I also regained my bowel function and sexual function. My last treatment was in June 2009 with five intrathecal and 2 intravenous injections of stem cells. After this treatment I could stand up and take a few steps on crutches because I had regained enough strength in my left leg and had already started to have movement in my right leg. As of this writing (October, 2010) I am able to walk without any aids or appliances. I have recovered almost 100% of my right leg and over 80% of my left leg. I have resumed my daily activities like driving and walking. I recently I passed my physical exam and now can fly again. In recent tests and pictures taken of my spinal column there is still a lesion at L1 but I continue walking. I am continuing to recover day by day while in the next few days I will go back for another treatment with the hope that I will be able to be as normal as possible.