Juliet, Spinocerebellar Ataxia | Stem Cell Treatment Testimonial
From a hundred percent I felt like only 30 percent of me was working. At times I would just feel like I'm a spectator just watching everything go past but I couldn't actively participate. I wanted to do it but I couldn't. Medically they told us, "there is no hope." I'm Juliet and I come from South Africa. This is my husband Julius.
It must have been about I think maybe four years ago when the symptoms started. I was losing balance, tripping over my feet, slurred speech, my hands would shake all of the time. A lot of weakness. Muscle fatigue... I couldn't write a sentence. The pen fell out of my hand.
So there was complete weakness, lack of power in the hand. And the diagnosis was Spinocerebellar Ataxia, type 1. That was the first time we had heard of the word "Ataxia." The doctor's report was very negative. It said, "you cannot work." You cannot drive. There is no cure. There is no treatment. The said that OT and physical therapy might assist.
And, they said go home. They said make plans for the wheelchair and other walking aides. And kit out the home to make it comfortable. The thing that made me break inside of me, or broke me, it was in the doctor told me "take your wife home and make her happy. Get her comfortable, because there is no treatment or cure in South Africa." It was like somebody hit me over the head. You know? If your life is like a story, you turn the page and the story changed overnight and you don't plan for that you don't know what's going to happen.
You know, and that sudden uncertainty flooded our home and the way we felt then he started the research, immediately. The first time we heard of stem cell treatment, he contacted Beike, and for the first time we saw hope. It wasn't about curing the Ataxia, that may not even be possible, and I understand that, but for me it's having a better quality of life. The thing that really blew our minds when he came here was that we didn't realize that the nutrition, the occupational therapy, the physical therapy and the stem cells had to work together for a positive result. This is no walk in the park.
For me, it has been the most challenging experience, greater than the diagnosis itself. You should have seen me, then you'll know what I'm talking about. The change is amazing I cannot even put it in words. I arrived here on Friday, by Sunday I was able to walk down the passage. Sometimes you need to work a little bit hard for what you want. They teach me how to write. That to me is a big achievement. Oh and my jaws have stopped locking.
They used to lock when I chew. Now I can chew and they don't lock. Have you heard someone stammer? Like every second word is drawn out, that's how my speech was.
I think I'm pretty fluent now? Yes. That improvement has been very drastic: the speaking. My family is amazed with the change.
They watch us on Skype and they cannot believe that this is the same lady. This is what I want. I want my wife back. She's able to do the things that she needs to do. She's independent enough to speak and to eat, and my family is absolutely amazed and appreciative that there is a place like this, that can make a difference in our lives. We understand it now holistically.
We see that there is a hope which we never had before. And we go away so much more encouraged we're actually looking forward now to going home and starting to live. We have a pool at home.
I haven't been in the pool for over a year because I couldn't balance in the pool at all. What you saw today is amazing. When I get home I'm going to be using the pool but he's got to put heaters, because it's very cold! This would be the best decision you would make for yourself.
The best gift you could give to yourself. I feel excited about going into the pool and doing these things. I feel excited all the time! I just feel excited, about life.
It's like I've got a new lease on it. That's how I feel.
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