Patient G.O. from Canada
Treatment dates: May 21-22, 2012
Four months after the treatment, we received the following letter from the patient's mother:
Dear Dr. Bradstreet and Valentina,
G. is 14 and 6 foot 8 inches tall. We had the pleasure of visiting EmCell together with my friend V. B. and her son M. in May of 2012. So we are four months out from treatment.
G. was exceptionally well engaged the day after stem cells as well as the following 10 days as a positive predictor for success and due to growth factors as we were advised at EmCell.
He was flapping and non-verbal (he was somewhat verbal regularly but day of exam he just sat and flapped and I interpreted). The second day before the stem cells he walked into the clinic and said “Hello, good morning. I’m just going down to my room and can you bring me breakfast” (hilarious and fantastic at the same time). I called him back and said: “Hey G. you need to put your booties on.”
He came back and put them on … himself (he needs help with this kind of stuff). He has size 14 feet (to match his age) so he was ripping them as they weren’t big enough. He just wanted to get back into the stem cell room.
The docs started to ask how he was and asked me to take his shirt off so they could exam him. Well he laid down on the bed and took his own shirt off as he has heard them and then I just stood back and he let them examine him. I have an amazing shot of him full on eye contact as he watched and stayed in focus during their exam.
The day after our stem cells we had hired a tour guide and went to St.Vladimirs cathedral to give thanks. Our lovely guide had suggested we go in separately as parents and leave the children outside by the van. When I came out, G. said “Mum, I want to go in the church.” He wouldn’t ever have said that before … so I said “Really?” he said “Yes, I want to go in the church.” In we went. The first thing he did was look at the candles and up and the ceiling and he said “Oh, Mum, look at the lights and look at the candles.” He just looked all around him in awe. It was so cool to see and hear and he would not have said anything like that before. He would have gone in and flapped and looked at the ground.
On the flight home he turned to me and said. “Hey Mum when are you going to pick up your new car and can I come with you?” So for the 10 days after we came home I really didn’t want to leave his side because he was a different kid…
Then we sort of went back to the way things were with lots of flapping but bits and pieces of things coming out. Doctors had told us he would flap a lot more than usual and he did. But…
He also was sleeping earlier and more easily. As long as I can remember G. would need someone to snuggle with him in order to go to sleep and as he got older he would flap and thump the floor with his feet from anywhere between 11pm and 1.30 am and nothing would stop him. Not melatonin low or high dose, not diphenhydramine, not cipralex… But after EmCell he would be asleep at 10pm for sure and on occasion would put himself to bed at 9.30pm saying “I’m tired, can I go to bed now.” Really great news for the entire house.
…G. is 6 foot 8 inch so the first thing people say is “WOW he is tall, bet he is good at basketball.” I just laugh and let it go b/c he can’t shoot hoops at all. Until after stem cells.
You could barely get him to catch a ball before and if you asked him to shoot he would turn his head away from the hoop and thrust the ball at the net. No arc no direction. Now he could catch the ball if it was bounced off the ground and then he would hold the ball over his head and arc it up and get a basket every time (Ok he’s not running or jumping b/c he can’t do that yet, and hasn’t to date so don’t get the wrong idea that he’s a basketball prodigy. But gee he is now arcing a ball into a hoop (and granted at 6 foot 8 its not a huge arc). BUT we have been shooting hoops his entire life and nada… so this is great. He sees better, he can focus better and he has intention.
So we flapped the summer away and then he went back to school. Private school for kids with severe autism. Kids are 12 to 18 years old. He’s been in the same sort of group class for the last 3 years.
First day at school. They asked G. if he wanted to play pop up pirate. “No, I’m over it !!” (new expression for G. and awesome use of slang).
Day 2. G. fine motor skills have really improved over the summer (he was doing beading). G. is 75% independent in his after school routine compared to 50% last year. He said “I can’t wait to tell my Mum and new practicum teacher is starting … and he did when he got home … He would rarely tell me anything about school before.
Also “G. has not exhibited any of the attention seeking behaviors we saw last year.
Day 6. G. is more confident in his cooking skills and is taking more initiative to independently answer questions and volunteer in class (no prompting! in the past pretty much prompting required).
Day 10. Last year G. needed prompting to raise his hand in music to answer a question 80% of the time. This year he is 100% independent.
Sept 15th. We ran cold probes today to see where G. was at retaining his typing skills. The target mastered words were Mum, Dad and G. G. easily recalled the spelling of each word but was having difficulty tracking on the keyboard. After 2 teaching cycles he went from 10 seconds of tracking down to 3 to 5 seconds and we introduced a new target word—his sister’s name—which he mastered right away and they thought this was WONDEFUL for G.
I could keep going but you get the drift. G. still needs a lot of help in school but he has definitely changed since stem cells. They tell us he has more language, more focus and more intent and interest. And we are only 4 months out…
We are so happy with the results, believe me. You are an awesome collective.
G. asks regularly “Mum when are we going back to the Ukraine?”
S.O., G.’s proud Mum.