So…What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Guess I am not the only one who didn’t really understand what stem cell treatment is about, and since many of you have asked for an explanation of Ammon’s treatment, here’s the scoop in simple terms—from my limited understanding!

All of us have stem cells in our body.  I erroneously thought stem cells had to do with the brain stem, but that’s not it at all.  A “stem” cell is like a basic building block in your lego set.  It is necessary basic unit that can be made into other things.  If you think about a seedling sprouting up in the garden, the stem comes first. Then it grows into leaves, more stem, flowers, and fruits.  But it all starts with a stem.

As new life is conceived, it is all about stem cells.  Those “basic blocks” go on to differentiate, becoming lung tissue or brain tissue or muscles or an eyeball.  Their versatility is what makes them so valuable.  In adult bodies, our stem cells exist to repair damage.  But when damage is too great, it can overwhelm the body’s self-healing ability.  That’s where additional stem cell treatments become a valuable aid.

The reason using stem cells is so controversial is that stem cells are derived from human embryonic tissue:  life conceived in the test tube for the purpose of harvesting stem cells. Growing babies to use for stem cell harvest is not a happy subject.  The source of the stem cell treatments Ammon received in Mexico were actually from fetuses of animals (lamb or cow) from Germany.   Our doctor pointed out that if you eat meat, using animal stem cells is not objectionable, as you already have accepted the idea of using animals to give your body life and strength.

Why did we have to go to Mexico?  Use of stem cell therapy in the United States has been plagued by controversy over the issue of embryonic harvesting.  You may know someone who is terminally ill who has received stem cell treatments in the US. Apparently it may be available for those in the final stages of a terminal illness, as a medical experiment.  My neighbor’s cancer was healed in this way.

How do these animal stem cells get into the body?  First, blood is drawn from the patient and spun to remove all but the plasma.  Then stem cells are mixed with the plasma and it is injected back into the body.  It can be injected at the local site of damage such as an injured hand or heart valve, or in the case of the brain for Ammon, it is injected in the big muscles (glutes).  The stem cells follow the trail of inflammation, going right to the source of the damage and beginning repair work.  You can tell they are working within hours!  Ammon talked and talked and talked, and didn’t sleep much for 3 or 4 nights after receiving the injections.  His brain was turning on!  We have seen amazing progress within the last week!

If you have had a baby at a hospital recently, you may have been given the option to have your baby’s umbilical cord frozen and maintained (for a fee). Umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid are an abundant source of stem cells, and they are a perfect match for your child’s body in the event of future need.  I sure wish we had Ammon’s umbilical cord!

God can do a healing miracle any time He sees fit.  In the meantime, we are doing all we possibly can. Maybe He does His miracles in this way too.

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