by peter petterson
This story emanating from the Wellington daily, Dominion Post yesterday, tugged at my heartstrings; I’m really an old softie, but this was different.
The Mexican Swine flu outbreak has reportedly delayed a Levin ( near Wellington) family’s hunt for a miracle cure for their young daughter.
Young Jaide Pearson is just eight years old, the age of one of my own granddaughters. She is a blind quadriplegic who also suffers from cerebal palsy. What on earth did she do to someone in a previous life? Her mother, Jayne, and granddad Norm, had planned to take her to a pioneering clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, next month after she was accepted for experimental stem cell therapy.
Then along came the Swine flu outbreak in Mexico, with its much debated figures concerning infected people and those who have died – and in the process forced this family to delay the trip until September of this year, 2009.
Jaide had apparently suffered a haemorrhage in the womb, and was subsequently born with severe brain damage. The Fernando Ramirez clinic in Tijuana can hopefully provide a miracle cure for little Jaide, who is also mute!
Her mother, Jayne, wants her to have a better quality of life, but they couldn’t risk taking her to Mexico during the flu epidemic and had to wait until the risk had been contained.
Granddad Norm said the therapy which involves inserting stem cells into Jaide’s brain from the umbilical cords of healthy full-term babies, had the potential to cure her. “We would be delighted if she could see, it would be wonderful if she could walk. I would love her to be able to put her arms around me to give me a cuddle.” he said.
I have a granddaughter of the same age and fully understand just how Norm feels, but through the grace of god our family has never had to deal with such health problems that he and his family has had to endure.
The family has been told to expect improvements within the 180 days after the procedure – which is not medically approved in many countries, including New Zealand.
These hopes were sparked by a TV documentary last February, reportedly showing a 2 year old Dunedin, NZ, cerebral palsy sufferer, Caleb Turner’s, remarkable improvement after undergoing treatment in Mexico. An 8 year old legally blind boy who also featured in the documentary was reported to have recovered almost perfect vision as a result of the therapy as well. While she is severely handicapped, there have been some reportedly good results from stem cell therapy.
Who wouldn’t try the therapy just on the off-chance it will work, even if it has been disclaimed by mainstream medical authorities and experts? If I was in the same situation as Jaide’s family, I’m sure I would be pushing to try this treatment and becoming involved in various fundraising schemes to get my granddaughter to Mexico as well. Kiaora.
Acknowledgements: Kay Blundell, Dompost, Wellington, NZ.