Can you imagine of losing the control of your car & waking up the next day in the hospital being paralyzed from your neck? But there is one person who has faced this tragedy. That is Kristopher Boesen. He has lost the control of the car & twirled on a slippery road surface hit a tree and a lamp post critically. His parents were even told that he might never be able to function down from the neck again.

The Process

He was appointed for a treatment involving stem cells which are capable to repair damaged tissues through the replacement of damaged cells. The treatment wasn’t guaranteed but he took the risk as its worth other than staying doing nothing.

This was handled by Dr. Liu. He started this process in April where he injected 10 million of AST-OPC1 cells directly to his spinal cord. Dr. Liu says that “Typically, spinal cord injury patients undergo surgery that stabilizes the spine but does very little to restore motor or sensory function. With this study, we are testing procedure that may improve neurological function, which could mean the difference between being permanently paralyzed and being able to use one’s arms and hands. Restoring that level of function could significantly improve the daily lives of patients with severe spinal injuries”

The Outcome

He showed a good improvement during the first three weeks and showed wonderful results after 2 months where he could answer the phone call, write his name & operate his wheelchair. He has recover significantly where his brain could send messages from the brain to muscles to do the movement.

He made a huge difference by recovering his two spinal cord levels which was the difference between minimal movements or moving nothing at all. Fortunately, he got his independence back.

After all these outcomes, Kris said that “All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a fighting chance… But if there’s an opportunity for me to walk again, then heck yeah! I want to do anything possible to do that”.

The future

Even though the doctors can’t promise that he will recover 100%, they can still experiment with stem cell research in order to cure him.

Dr. Liu and his team is doing more researches on stem cells in order to help the paralysis. They have teamed up with ‘associate faculty based in departments across KSOM and the University to study stem cell – driven new medicine’.

According to Dr. Parkinson, stem cell help a lot other than paralysis, such as diabetes to cancer.

(1)Stem Cell Basics. https://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/1.htm Published: N/A. Accessed: November 23, 2016.
(2)Experimental stem cell therapy helps paralyzed man regain use of arms and handshttps://news.usc.edu/107047/experimental-stem-cell-therapy-helps-paralyzed-man-regains-use-of-arms-and-hands/ Published: September 8, 2016. Accessed: November 23, 2016.
(3)Assessment of Motor Function. http://www.lhsc.on.ca/Health_Professionals/CCTC/edubriefs/motorfnc.htm Published: November 19, 1999. Accessed: November 23, 2016.
(4)Understanding Stem Cells. http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/booklets/Understanding_Stem_Cells.pdf Published: N/A. Accessed: November 23, 2016.
Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/health_medicine/stem_cells/ Published: N/A. Accessed: November 23, 2016.