A 2 year old San Diego girl with cerebral palsy is walking after a stem cell infusion of her own cord blood. She suffered a stroke while in her mother’s womb, which was fortunately detected before her birth. Her parents were advised by their doctor to store her stem cells because of a promising clinical trial at Duke University to treat children with cerebral palsy. Although the trial is already closed, she was taken on as a paying patient.
Just 3 weeks after her infusion she took her first steps and no longer needs her eye surgery initially recommended by doctors. The entire left side of her body was affected with her left hand permanently in a fist, today she can feed herself.
Dr Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University explains that cord blood stem cells appear to travel to the brain to repair damaged areas via various mechanisms.
While normal development and physical therapy can’t be overlooked as reasons for improvement, her parents are convinced that the cord blood infusion sparked her major improvement that allows her not only to walk but dance around like normal little girls of her age.