Kristopher (Kris) Boesen from Bakersfield lost his ability to move from the neck down (a condition medically termed as quadriplegia) after a traumatic injury resulting from an accident last March 6.
His parents were devastated to learn that the injury is more or less permanent, but this sad news did not sit for far too long, thankfully, they were able to get into an experimental stem cell therapy through Keck Medical Center of USC, they along with a team of doctors is the first in California to inject its patient with an experimental treatment made from stem cells as part of a multi-center clinical trial.
“Typically, spinal cord injury patients undergo surgery that stabilizes the spine but generally does very little to restore motor or sensory function,” Liu explained. “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.” – Charles Liu explains how the spinal cord injury affected the patient (Kris).
Post-surgery, roughly two weeks into the recovery phase, Boesen began to show signs of improvement. A couple more months later, he’s able to feed himself, use his cellphone, write his name, operate a motorized wheelchair and hug his friends and family.
“As of 90 days post-treatment, Kris has gained significant improvement in his motor function, up to two spinal cord levels,” Liu said. “In Kris’ case, two spinal cord levels mean the difference between using your hands to brush your teeth, operate a computer or do other things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do, so having this level of functional independence cannot be overstated.”
However, a complete prognosis of his future progress is yet to be determined.
“All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a fighting chance,” said Boesen, and with this new revolutionary technology, it just might be possible.