Stem Cell Treatment Helps Crash Victim Use Their Hands Again

Even if someone is as safe as they can be while driving, an accident can happen. Kris Boesen of Bakersfield found out this past March just how devastating such an injury can be.

The Epox Times reported that on March 6th, Boesen lost control of his vehicle on a wet, slippery road hitting a tree and a utility pole. The accident severely damaged Kris’ spinal cord – an injury that likely would have left him paralyzed from the neck down.

While the prognosis seemed bleak, there was still some hope. Doctors talked to Kris Boesen’s father, Rodney, about a new experimental procedure that utilizes stem cells to potentially make it possible for Kris to use his arms and hands once again.

The procedure, known as AST-OPC1, is currently only being used in clinical studies and had to be performed between 14 and 30 days of the initial injury. That left a small window of time to perform the procedure, and there was also no guarantee that it would work.

Dr. Charles Liu, director of the USC Neurorestoration Center and a surgical team, performed the surgery on Boesen in April at Keck Medical Center. During the surgery, more than 10 million stem cells would be injected into Boesen’s cervical spinal cord.

Within the first two weeks following the procedure, Boesen began showing marked improvement. Before the operation, Kris could not feed himself or do anything for himself. At three months following the surgery, he is now able to use a cellphone, feed himself, and use an electric wheelchair to get around.

Kris tearfully expressed his gratitude to Dr. Liu and the rest of the surgical team saying, “If I was there and I was able to thank them. I would just tell them, thank you for giving my life back. Thank you for allowing me to live my life again.”

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