Scott Williams was left paralyzed from the chest down after a military accident. He is believed to be the first person ever to receive an autologous adipose-derived stem cell transplant into his spine, which took place at the Precision StemCell facility in Gulf Shores, TX. After receiving the transplant, Williams noticed sensation in his left leg and was able to slightly move both of his feet!
Williams says, “Within one month, I was able to move my feet some, and I haven’t done that in over five years.” He continues to say, “I feel that this is amazing progress.” Similar treatment has been used to treat patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The ALS patients who received this treatment have shown 75% improvement in moving, breathing, and speech.
During the procedure liposuction is used to collect fat from the patient. Then stem cells are separated from the fat and placed into the spine. Afterwards, the patient is placed on the drug Selegeline, which is believed to cause stem cells to reprogram, and, ideally, converts them into neural stem cells.
Dr. Jason R. Williams, head of Precision StemCell and a board-certified radiologist with extensive training in image-guided procedures, performed the procedure. Dr. Williams says,”I believe that Mr. Williams is the first patient to ever have this procedure for spinal cord injury using this specific technique.” He adds, “This treatment is a good initial step, but we need to make even further advances.”
A comparable procedure was performed on Frank Orgel, a former NFL football player and college coach, who was treated for ALS. It has been eight years since the procedure. Orgel says he has continued to see improvement in his motor control. Before the treatment he could not move is left arm or leg, walk or stand up on his own. Now he can stand without assistance. Orgel continues to work with physical therapists and can walk with the help of a cane. He hopes be able to walk without any assistance to one day.
Dr. Williams says, “We had believed that our therapy techniques could help people with other neural-related conditions such as spinal cord injuries.” He continues, “Our work with Scott Williams proved this to be true, and we are eager to see if we will be able to help patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease. Although it is relatively new, this technique has shown great promise so far, and we are always looking forward.”