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Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury with Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
In this news story, we have Mr. Eric Lyons who has been suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that occurred in 2017. Eric is living not only for himself and his family, but also for more than 50 children in Cambodia as a founder of Hope for the Silent Voices, a non-profit organization that works to bring attention and resources to the severely neglected, disadvantaged, abused, and discarded children and teenagers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He humorously accepts that those children are his actual boss. In addition to God’s miracles, Eric believes in being the change you wish to see in the world.
Before the Injury
Eric works towards actionable objectives every day, with faith in his goals, dreams, and ambitions. Earlier, he had a sporty lifestyle, that included Thai boxing, basketball, American football, enjoying the outdoors, and travelling to many countries. From the adventurous lifestyle of the last few decades, he had a lot accidents, both mild and severe. He was also in a major car accident. All of these incidences were later believed to have caused cumulative injuries to his brain, at a noticeable level.
His doctors explained to him that brain injury is like water dripping into a glass little by little… before the glass is filled, the patient may not recognize anything significant, but the damage already exists. Once the last drop fills the glass, it acts like a catalyst, and will show the results of all the damage.
In Eric’s case, he hit his forehead very strongly with a door frame in 2017. He started to gradually lose his cognition, physical movement, including memory and ability to collect his thoughts and convert them to speech. He lost his reading skills from losing the ability to focus his left eye for 5 months. He could not even walk straight during that period. He could not sleep. At that time, Eric determined himself as only 15% of the person he was before the injury.
Eric enrolled in a brain clinic in Dallas Texas, where he met 23 out of 24 inclusion criteria. During 2018 he passed through over 100 sessions of neurofeedback, plus hyperbaric oxygen therapy and craniosacral therapy. Eric’s brain-body connectivity was getting better as he had better body balance, vision, memory, and motor tasking. He felt he was at 70% of his full ability.
What about the missing 30%? That’s where the story of stem cells begins.
MSC Treatment Journey
At this point, Eric did not completely have his memory back, and he could not stand working for longer than 30 min. He realized that his full-efficiency was not yet recovered. Especially, he still lost his emotional control which he considered very important as he mainly worked among extra-sensitive people. During the treatment period with neurologists, he opened his mind searching for other alternative treatment protocols to gain back his full cognitive ability.
Eric learned that infusions of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are a treatment option for brain injury, but that it is often given in unregulated clinics which carried risk. Eric heard people talking both for and against it. Eric decided to do his homework and learn about stem cell treatment. Due to his struggles in reading and analysis, he relied on help from allies and spent five months reviewing scientific articles and clinical trials data about stem cell treatment for neurological disorders. He found that, not only were MSC in trials for brain injury like what he suffered, but there were also clinical trials that showed improvement in patients with stroke, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Eric always felt lucky to be surrounded by remarkable people who always supported him. He talked to a friend in Thailand who was knowledgeable in stem cell treatment and finally connected him to a functional medicine hospital in Thailand in the year 2019. At the hospital, Eric started over his journey of brain testing and questions about stem cell treatment until everything was cleared in his mind. He felt reassured to know that the cells came from a facility that had AABB accreditation for somatic cells and came with a Certificate of Analysis showing all quality control testing results.
Eric underwent three weeks of treatment at the hospital in Thailand. He got 220 million umbilical cord MSC in total, mainly via spinal injection so the cells effectively bypassed the blood-brain barrier to sooth the damages existing at every lobe of his brain. Additional IV injections of MSC also helped to reduce inflammation throughout his body. In addition to the MSC, his treatment protocol included simultaneous sessions of physical therapy to promote muscle-nerve connectivity. It came out that his post-treatment analysis was drastically improved.
The missing parts of normal life are no longer Eric’s concern. He has gotten most of his abilities back and believes that what he has gained after the treatment is much more than he ever expected. He works efficiently for longer periods of time, is emotionally balanced, and has been able to live the lifestyle he had before his accident. Eric runs a marathon now and then. Eric has a YouTube page with videos intended to help other TBI patients. After many months of despair, confusion, mourning, Eric finally realized that in some strange way, this TBI was seemingly a gift being granted to him for some kind of an overhaul on life and his approach to and through it. The experience taught him that he could choose to believe in a positive outcome, a better outcome than he could yet see or comprehend. We must believe in what we cannot see. That is the definition of faith.
Eric’s final thoughts for parents and patients who have the choice of stem cell therapy or are thinking of stem cell therapy as an option are:
“In looking back on my stem cell journey from exploration through contemplation through finally making the life-changing decision to indeed undergo not 1, but 2 separate rounds of stem cell therapy; I realized how sheltered and small-minded I was in my ability to believe in something so powerful (and attainable) to aid in my recovery. To conduct proper due diligence, I needed to step outside of the conventional circles I typically would explore such things. Nobody I knew had explored or attempted stem cell therapy; so I felt a bit blind and alone, initially. But eventually I determined that the only true risk was that the therapy simply might not work for me. It was purely a financial loss versus what I felt was a proper conclusion that the cells received via Cryoviva would not in fact be harmful to me. At least that was the conclusion I came to. If it was simply a financial one then running after the possibility of a vibrant and dynamic restoration of health was completely worth it. Human nature is to have doubt and fear over the unknown. I most definitely had reservations about embarking on this path but simply because I had nothing to compare it to and nobody in my circle who had familiarity. But that should not impede one's pursuit of attempting great things. The benefits were astounding and life enhancing. I can see myself going back for more treatments if and when it becomes necessary. I truly feel blessed to have found and then been guided along my path of recovery and health.“