Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stem Cell Procedures - working for a girl in Missouri

Ok, so I won’t say “I told you so” to all you people who voted against Stem Cell Research the last election who said it doesn’t do any good…..instead I’ll let this snippet from a local story do it for me.

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Rylea Barlett was born blind six years ago. Her optic nerves did not develop. She was diagnosed when she was a few months old. Doctor after doctor gave her no hope of ever seeing.

On July 4, the girl received the first of five stem cell transplants. The stem cells were from umbilical cords. The transplants were done in a remote hospital in China. Her mother, Dawn Barlett, was told not to expect anything for months. One week after the first transplant, her daughter was responding to the glow of a penlight.

"Three weeks ago on Sunday (Aug. 12), she asked me to get the penlight," Barlett said. "She wanted to show me where the light was. She kept grabbing at it. She could see the high contrast."

Then it occurred to Barlett that Rylea might be able to distinguish the features of a person's face. "I told her I wanted to show her something," Barlett said. "I held my breath and put my face in front of her face. I pulled away and asked her what she saw.

"She said: 'I saw my mommy. Mommy, you are beautiful.'"

Its rather long so I won’t paste the whole thing-if you care to look it up it’s “Missouri girl gaining sight after stem cell transplants” By Wally Kennedy in the JOPLIN GLOBE on 09/09/2007

But here’s a few more tidbits: The trip and treatments were financed by nearly $40,000 in donations. She not only saw the light, she saw a chart across the room with a big 'E' on it. The doctor has determined that she has 20/400 vision.”

Hey, that’s better than blind, right? Maybe its best that stem cell procedures stay in other countries-I’m sure that procedure would’ve cost hundreds of thousands of dollars with our current healthcare system. But that’s another post. :) For now, I’m happy there’s a 6 year old girl who can now see thanks to a progressively thinking country, but sad its not this country.

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