Kristopher Boesen’s life changed in a minute after he survived a car accident. The young man lost control over his car, and crashed it into a tree and lamp post. The terrible accident almost took his life, but Kristopher survived. Unfortunately, he was paralyzed from the neck down, and doctors were almost convinced that he will never regain the control over his body.
Kristopher was offered to try an experimental procedure involving stem cells. The procedure was designed to repair injured nerve tissue by replacing damaged cells. The method didn’t provide any guarantee , but Kristopher was willing to take the risk.
Charles Liu, MD, Ph.D., director of the USC Neurorestoration Center, led the surgical team and joined forces with Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and Keck Medicine of USC.
They injected an experimental dose of 10 million AST-OPC1 cells into Kristopher’s cervical spinal cord. The cells were obtained through an in-vitro fertilization of donated eggs.
Dozens of doctors, nurses, rehab specialists and other professionals helped Kristopher get his treatment. He needed to provide a voice confirmation of his willingness to take part in the study, and had to be able to breathe without his ventilator.
The weaning process usually takes three weeks, but Kristopher did it in five days with the help and support of respiratory care team.
He put his signature the paperwork, and did the necessary scans and all the pre-surgery tests.
Dr. Liu explained that patients usually undergo surgeries to stabilize their spine, adding that the process doesn’t restore much of the motor or sensory function of the spine.
The study helped them test a procedure that may enhance the neurological function which could help paralyzed patients restore the motion in their arms and hands. Restoring this function may help patients with spinal injuries live a better life.
After three weeks, Kristopher noticed an improvement. Within eight weeks, his motor functions were already better, and he could work with his wheelchair or answer the phone. The young man was able to write his name again.
Kristopher’s movement improved after he recovered two spinal cord levels.
Three months after the treatment, Kristopher marked great improvement in his motor function, and went as high as two spinal cord levels. In other words, the young man was now able to brush his teeth, work on a computer, and do pretty much everything using his arms and hands.
This great success shouldn’t be ignored as Kristopher got the chance to start his life over again.The positive results of the stem cell therapy changed his life. Again.
The only thing Kristopher wanted was a chance to fight, adding that he’d do anything to walk again. Hopefully, one day he will be able to do that.
His father, Rodney, said they were surprised by the great effect of the therapy. They are so grateful that Kristopher got the chance to take part in the study and enjoy the benefits after the treatment was completed.
Rodney is well aware of the fact that the staff at Keck Medical Center of USC and other places helped his son in the process. According to him, they moved heaven and earth. Kristopher received world-class care as his father likes to call the process.
Doctors don’t make any promises regarding his future improvement, but they will definitely proceed with the research in order to improve his life. Paralysis isn’t something that disappears overnight, and doctors worked on a new medicine.
This therapy can aid in several other cases, and one day it may help patients diagnosed with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.