His motor functions were improving every day, and they would later find out that Kris had regenerated two full spinal cord levels which allowed him the degree of functionality everyone was witnessing.
Life is a fragile thing, something that is easy to forget in our day-to-day lives going from place to place, seeing this person and that person, all the while not really worrying about the inherent dangers that surround us at any given moment. And unfortunately, sometimes people aren’t so lucky.
Like Kristopher Boesen, who became paralyzed from the neck down after losing control of his car and crashing into both a tree and a lamp post. All he remembers is his vehicle heading for the tree before waking up in the hospital with zero motor function, aside from his head.
Doctors told Kris that while he might not ever regain function of his body back, they could try a procedure involving stem cells that could potentially repair the injured nervous tissue that had been damaged in the car accident. There were no guarantees, but there was a chance. And Kris decided to take it.
“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 a 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,” said Dr. Liu, Kris’ doctor.
Dr. Liu injected 10 million AST-OPC1 cells into his spinal cord, and after 3 weeks of therapy, Kris was demonstrating signs of immense improvement. By the time two months had passed since the procedure, Kris was able to write his name, use a wheelchair, and answer his phone.
His motor functions were improving every day, and they would later find out that Kris had regenerated two full spinal cord levels which allowed him the degree of functionality everyone was witnessing. Not only had Kris regained some of his mobility, but he also regained some of his independence.
“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.”
Doctors are not promising Kris that he will continue to make such leaps and bounds in terms of motor function but agreed to keep utilizing stem cell research to see how much they can help him in his quest.
Stem cell research, while controversial at times, is highly useful in treating not just paralysis, but conditions such as Parkinson’s, diabetes and even cancer. You can learn more about stem cells and stem cell research right here!