Just a few months after Asia was born, her parents noticed that something wasn’t right. She had problems with holding objects, her movements weren’t fluid and she seemed to be falling behind with other developmental milestones. After many failed investigations at different practitioners, Asia was finally diagnosed with mild spastic tetraplegia due to a lack of oxygen at birth.
While there is no cure for this disorder, her parents were told that a combination of physiotherapy and stem cell infusion could be used to treat the symptoms and improve muscle function. Luckily for Asia, her parents chose to store her cord blood stem cells at birth should she ever need them in future treatments such as this one.
After some research, Asia’s parents approached Duke University of North Carolina, where researchers were conducting a clinical trial into improving motor skills in children using cord blood stem cells. The team at Duke were thoughtful, caring and explained the process to Asia’s family before the infusion took place. It was a pain-free process that took only 15 minutes.
Two weeks after the infusion, Asia was already starting to speak better, run and climb as she gained muscle strength in her limbs. While she still requires ongoing physiotherapy, her orthopedist said he had never seen such improvements in a child with spastic tetraplegia.
60% of Asia’s cord blood cells were used in her first infusion of cord blood cells. However, she was advised to return to Duke University for a second infusion in February 2018 to boost recovery. Thanks to her parents’ timely decision to store their daughter’s cord blood stem cells, Asia is now attending dance classes and living a happy, healthy life unrestricted by her condition.