HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Three dramatic stories to share about Houston-area patients who had little hope with their conditions until they tried something new. Ranging from a rare form of arthritis that attacks the entire body to multiple sclerosis, they're on the road to recovery after undergoing a treatment using their own stem cells.
Tucker Beau, Sarah and Debbie may be in different stages in life, but they sure have one thing in common! They believe Celltex Stem Cells enhanced, and even saved, their lives. They explain their bond as "unbreakable". Frail and often bed-bound, that's how they describe themselves *before* they underwent a treatment using their own stem cells.
Dr. Stanley Jones knows how they feel. The prominent orthopedic surgeon in Houston didn't want to retire, when he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis six years ago. "I was so sick on initial medications, I just wanted to quit and give up, but I sought stem cell treatment in Asia. I was the first American doctor to go to Korea and Japan," says Dr. Jones. He goes on to say that everyone there had improved so much, he tried it. He's easily working again, and enjoying being back in the Operating Room! He wanted patients here to get a similar relief, and that's how he helped bring Celltex to Houston.
Seven-year-old Tucker Beau is the youngest patient to undergo the treatment.
"When we did it, the next day I felt better," exclaims Tucker. "Now you (I) can play, walk, and actually go places," he explains. Tucker Beau has a condition called systemic idiopathic juvenile arthritis. It not only attacks his joints and bones, but his entire body, including his digestive system. Steroids, injections, and chemotherapy didn't help enough. Doctors said he was no longer thriving. "I didn't eat since four," says Tucker Beau. A feeding tube helped keep him alive, but after stem cell therapy, he eats everything he wants! "I gained 16 pounds and 4 inches, since a year and a half," he and his mother tell us. No more pain, either. He's even playing lacrosse now!
24-year old Sarah Hughes has gained thirty healthy pounds the past year, since her stem cell treatment. Sarah has the same condition as Tucker Beau. She has spent most of her life, flat on her back to help lower symptoms, most of that time, fighting for her life, in a hospital. She says she used to be a "shell of a human being", lacking energy and life. "I'm getting my life back - I never had that much of a life - but now I feel like I'm just starting to live live. I'm getting a life," Sarah smiles. Her doctors warned them she probably wouldn't live past her early 20's. "I kind of explode antibodies, so as I get older, my disease progresses more and more, and I get new strange manifestations with my disease," Sarah explains. She was at risk of anaphylactic shock, suffered debilitating spinal cord leaks, and relied on a feeding tube since she was five years old. The list goes on and on. Her loving mother, Fiona, is always by her side. She helps keep her prescription drugs in order, when Sarah is home from the hospital. "Different drugs like pain killers, non-stop antibiotics, different drugs for the cardiac condition, digestive conditions, as well as arthritis for sore joints, sore bones, and maintenance drugs - and I keep this list of 23 medications," says Fiona!
When Sarah and her Mom saw that Tucker Beau began to thrive, they decided Sarah should try it, as well. "I knew I wasn't going to be having a life - maybe not a very long life at all," says Sarah. That's when she had fat cells extracted here in Houston at Celltex. "What we're doing is making stem cells at high quantities. We have a trillion, but they become lazy. We need to stimulate them into stem cells to be more active, That means we're going to stimulate mitosis of other cells and make another body part better," says Dr. Jones.
Growing the new cells happens at the Celltex Lab in Houston. Right now, patients have to to travel out of the country to inject the new stem cells back into the body.
Sarah says she felt much more energetic, the day after her procedure! "And I felt hunger! I haven't felt hungry since I was 5 years old," says Sarah. She went from being bed-bound to walking three miles a day! Her mentor, Debbie Bertrand, says she was able to retire her own wheelchair because of the treatment. "I had energy, strength, I could go the gym again. You don't realize how much pain you put up with each day, but when it's alleviated, it's amazing the strength and energy you get from that," says Debbie. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Debbie was terribly concerned about her quality of life. Now that she can easily get around using a walker, she says the treatment was well worth the expense. "It's one of those things - if you don't have your health - a lot of things you don't have," says Debbie. "Also, I had footdrop - and had to wear a device that caused a sore that wouldn't clear up. Finally, I had to stop wearing it. After stem cells, it completely cleared up! It has never happened again," exclaims Debbie. She's very proud of her recent check-up. Her MRI showed physical changes in her body, and her medical doctor is very impressed with the results.
Three patients, three dramatic outcomes. Now they hope it will soon be available to everyone through health insurance. Right now, it's an out-of-pocket fee that costs thousands of dollars. Dr. Jones is hopeful that the more dramatic situations, he can share like this, the more the insurance companies will look into this. He says the risks are just typical risks of infection from an injection site, but that risk is low.
For more information, visit http://celltexbank.com/.