Emma, ALS Patient, Talks about Her Stem Cell Treatment and Improvements
My name is Emma, I'm 35 years old and I'm from America. I'm Chad I'm fourty years old also from America and we're here because of Emma's diagnosis of ALS As far as improvements I would say the one noticeable thing that we have seen so far in just the two weeks we've been here is Emma's voice She pretty much lost her ability to speak she could speak with a garble maybe a whisper at best, if there's no background noise and you're closer you can maybe hear, understand her. After the first lumbar puncture of the stem cells we saw an immediate improvement where she can speak up with a lot more stronger voice a little more clear and it doesn't take as much of an effort for her to speak now. Her voice is nowhere near a hundred percent but I would say its two to three times stronger than it was before we arrived. It's still weak but not near as weak so we have some faith in that hopefully with the all the stem cell treatments and all the other treatments received we'll see continued progression with her voice. As far as physical strength Emma has told me that her well-being overall with her muscle strength is improved now she's sore body because we went through an aggressive physical therapy and she's been pretty much sitting around for the past couple months or so, so there's a loss for stretching out the body inches using some muscle she isn't using a while but I would say it's a true statement that you feel a little bit stronger so she still has trouble getting up from seated position in the stairs but she does have that well being a little more strength I would say overall in her body well I would say the occupational therapy has helped some of this fine motor functions. The things that I noticed was they had some therapeutic honey to practice on shrinking at the fingers some forearms and just overall just over by with triceps and biceps and I would say that the first episode of that was pretty rough, right? it was like that party was a brick it's just she was having trouble moving it. By the third or fourth session she was able to consistently move that party to squeeze it, there are some exercise with clips like clothes pins just being able to squeeze and open it and put it on a plastic object to hold it and we couldn't do on the first one but by the third or fourth session she was able to get maybe sixty to seventy percent of those clips open and off which is a drastic improvement.
- It was good... Has been reduced - Your fatigue, less fatigue yeah I would say less fatigue also and there's also uh... An exercise we do with a breathing machine that when you inhale you can raise by your strength one two or three of the little balls in the machine and for me I just simply inhale and all three the balls rise and I can keep them up on the top so I can breathe normal when Emma first came here she can only get the first ball up and today she was able to get the first ball up in the second ball about halfway up, so I don't know what the percentage of improvement but I would say probably about ten or fifteen percent improvement of her ability to inhale - Working on it - Yeah we're still working on it - Well, there was not - Yeah there really wasn't any options offered to us.. What we first started experience the illness with Emma about a year and a half ago, we went to a neurologist doctors in America and they just tried to figure out what was going on starting due process of elimination to see this is something to do with a something of the spine, something of the brain, is this something of the blood work and when they finally narrowed it down to it's a neurological type of disorder they started to take a look at other types of treatments something knows IVIG, some physical therapy, but nothing really specific and we finally came to a doctor that diagnosed her with ALS and it was verified by another doctor after a second opinion that there was ALS and there really wasn't any options, it was pretty much that they can provide comfort as this is a terminal type disease that could happen pretty rapid and those are pretty much our options. - Lots of research - Yes, there's lots of research so we went to this ALS neurological specialists and he said they can provide comfort and that's about it.
We didn't want to give up on the fight so we started do research, and start research a lot I started researching family friends mothers and fathers, started researching a lot of just basic Google researches of how can you reverse the progression of ALS? and there really wasn't that much out there except for successes in recent clinical trials however, there was some significant progression with the utilization of stem cells and we started digging deeper about that we came to find out that the was some clinical trials that had successes with stem cells but they were very limited and what clinical trials you can participate in America so then we started to see what was outside of America and then that's when came across some Unique Access Medical. It was with Hanna so we came across Unique Access Medical on the internet and then we contacted via the website and then Hannah I believe her last name is Borek contacted us immediately and I believe, first we... Internet right? We had email exchange and then she also sent some video testimonial such as this and we came across some a couple Americans so we did a little bit trust but verify we contacted some people just some recent treatments here and we got their opinions views on what was offered here and then that piqued our interest big time and they we coordinated with Hannah and quick as we can get airplane tickets, the doctors were able to see us.
- It was really good The first treatment we received here was the stem cells the whole reason we came here, we were very interested, even though that everyone says there's no cure for ALS they did say that they have significant history associate with stem cells and delaying the progression of ALS if not stopping it for time being, there's different types of stem cells out there so when we start your research we took a look at what Unique Access Medical offered, and it seemed to have a higher success rate of stopping the progression of the disease if not giving a little bit of improvement to the person with the illness. In addition to the stem cells they also gave us some vitamins to boost the immune system to make sure that we're as healthy as possible, to help kind of focus the stem cells of where they need to work on with the body to regenerate the cells that are damaged, also Emma received, some growth hormone shots, and then with the stem cells, it just wasn't one process with the stem cells they actually provided five different segments of it two through IV and three lumbar punctures directly into the spine. - Totally painless - And it was totally painless - They were wonderful. - I would say with your epidurals and giving birth of our children those were a lot more difficult and painful right? - These were easy - As far as rehab I would say that Emma went through a very aggressive rehab in the past two weeks since she's been here. In comparison to what we received in America we actually received physical therapy to build on strength and Emmas kind of weak all over the body but primarily in the legs it's hard for her to get up from a seated position it's hard for her to walk, stairs are of course a challenge etcetera etcetera... So they work on some strength training with the physical therapy, pretty much had a session every other day and then in between those days we had occupational therapy, basically working on those coordination and basic dexterity of the muscles to do the basic things of everyday life writing picking something up using scissors and I would say that the aggressive approach that we have that it actually improves from your coordination and muscle strength in the hands and upper body and then there's there's also aqua - therapy so we did three or four? - Four - Pool sessions, swimming sessions to work on the overall the body structure and the muscles of the movement and the flexibility. We also actually had acupuncture I believe pretty much every other day acupuncture and they worked on focus on let's get the strength of the body so the upper body and the legs bring back some muscle strength and also for your voice too. - And in the cranium - Oh and then we also had that the magnetic treatments which only put some magnet directly to Emma's head which supposedly would boost your - Stimulate the neurons - Yeah, thank you, stimulate the neurons and help the stem cells.
I would say everything's been class act since we've been here.- It's been great - Very professional environment, very clean - The mall is right there! - Yes it's a good central location it's really not in Bangkok it's in the city, just outside of Bangkok it's located nearby where I can actually walk five minutes up the road in a safe environment and go to a mall which just like a Western mall, there's food there shopping, there's clothes, there is something to do. It kind of helped take care some of the cabin fever that we had, but the facilities I would say is class act no different than any type of Western American top-notch type hospital that we've been to. - Yeah it's been great - The downstairs facilities, the third floor where they did all the physical therapy occupational therapy aqua- therapies very professional environment.
- It was wonderful. - Yeah we had a physical therapist that we were working with it about six months ago in the United States and they appear to be more professional here, a little more caring little more understanding of what's going on and how to improve Emma and that goes for across-the-board the physical therapy occupational therapy and aqua therapy. The Aqua therapy is pretty cool because they had two pools that were heated and they weren't the size of full-size of swimming pool they were more of... I would say about halfway of personal swimming pool someone has at the backyard, and it was heated and everything and they actually had a chairlift to help them get into the pool where she had trouble getting up the stairs. - I love them all.
I have nothing bad to say, they were so wonderful - Yeah. Once again it's all that can compare it to is the doctors that we had back in America which I don't want to slap them they were very professional and everything however we want really given an avenue for any options, so we came here the team was a very knowledgeable very upbeat, very optimistic, very nice very caring, not only if... It wasn't like you came here and it was they were trying to make things work to help their business, it was they really care about you and they want to know what's going on with you in your life. Yes, they they took trips with us to help us get around the local area to make our I would say our stay as pleasurable as possible - And to the Grand Palace. - Yep so yeah, so not only were that they have professional doctors a team here and the acupuncturists if I'm saying that correctly, they had a translator that, we didn't receive treatment everyday we have one day off each week so two Sundays we're off with a little cabin fever and the translator actually coordinated for us to go on a tour to the Grand Palace and go to one the largest malls here in Bangkok, so could be some basic tours type things and it made our our visit really great - Yeah Do it. Don't wait Yeah so I would imagine that everyone when they find out a family member gets diagnosed with ALS we all go to similar emotions; there's denial, there's fear, especially when we're told there's no option and all they can do is provide comfort.
I literally had a doctor tell me: "hey just enjoy every moment you can right now, that's all you can do" So when you don't want to give in to that you want to fight, you want to look around the stem cells provided an option. For us stem cells are not FDA-approved so it's not offered in America so it was a risk coming here, but what other option do you really have? so I'm already seeing some immediate improvements with my wife and I'm hopeful that in three or four months as the stem cells mature, receiving greater strides if not I have faith that we've at least delayed the progression of the disease and I don't... I mean between that and saying there's nothing else you can do might want to try - It's a good decision - Yeah, we think it's a good decision.
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