Cord Blood Stem Cells Improve Life for Baby with Brain Injury
With cord blood stem cells preserved at the Hadassah University Medical Center, an Israeli baby with a brain injury received a transplant at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina, and was able to walk with a walker and wave her hand which had been previously paralyzed.
Dana, the child's mother, had delivered the baby at Hadassah a year and a half before and had decided to preserve her cord blood, just in case they would ever need it.
When the baby's grandfather noticed that the baby had a motor problem in her left hand and left leg, the family began doing some research on the internet. They came across a You Tube video which described a revolutionary treatment for regenerating brain function that was pioneered at Duke. Dana contacted both Hadassah and Duke. The screening process for the baby began, which included sending samples to the United States Food and Drug Administration for approval (only 40 children had been approved for the treatment).
Approval was granted. Hadassah sent the preserved cord blood to the US. Once the cord blood arrived at Duke, additional lab tests were performed, including tissue typing and assessing the quantity of stem cells and the percentage of living cells, as well as the level of contaminators after defreezing the sample. These tests took two weeks.
Dr. Simcha Samuel, Director of Hadassah's Bone Marrow Transplantation Laboratory, accompanied the family to the US for the procedure. It was within weeks following the transplant that the little girl started to walk and to wave her previously paralyzed hand.