Thursday, December 9, 2010
Great-Grandmother Says She Has Some Eyesight Back After Undergoing Stem-Cell Treatment In China.
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:22 AM on 2nd November 2010
'When I got back to Heathrow Airport last Wednesday I could see such a lot. It was unbelievable,' said Dorothy.
'The other day I saw a crow on the fence in my garden and had to check with people that I could actually see it but I did see it. It is amazing.
'The doctors said it could take another six months to a year before my sight gets as good as it will be, but it is much better already. It was definitely worth it.'
Dorothy's plight began when she woke up one morning in February last year to discover she had gone blind.
She was diagnosed with giant cell arteritis, an inflammatory disease of blood vessels.
Doctors in the UK said they could not restore her sight, but the Chinese hospital said it offered pioneering stem cell treatment that could restore her vision.
Stem cells are the very early cells that can develop into almost all other types of cell and tissue.
Dorothy went through a course of daily wave therapy and acupuncture, with weekly stem cell injections, for 43 days before arriving back home to her husband Percival in Springfield, Hardwicke.
Dorothy's main aim is to see her two-year-old great grandson Chris this Christmas.
The mother-of-four, grandmother-of-seven and great-grandmother of two, said: 'I really looking forward to being able to see Chris.
'As soon as his parents can get here to visit I am hoping to see him. They live on the army camp so it might be a little while, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.'
Well wishers had organised parachute jumps, bingo evenings and fun days to raise the money to send Dorothy on her trip.
Dorothy added: 'I am so pleased that everyone helped to raise this money. It is so wonderful that everybody did it for me. I really couldn't have done it without them.'
Her daughter Vicky, who kept a blog on the experience, said she and her mother went to Qingdao Hospital where her treatment was overseen by Dr Tony Lao.
'The main treatment was a weekly injection of stem cell fluid taken from umbilical cords at a maternity centre in Beijing and flown to Qingdao,' she said.
'Mum had to have two injections of the fluid into her right eye without anaesthetic, one of which was very painful. There were also six injections of fluid into her hand.
'Every day she had wave therapy, which involves electrical impulses to stimulate the parts of the brain involved. And she had acupuncture every day with one needle in the top of her head, two in her wrists, two in her knees and two in her ankles.
'The hospital has become known throughout the world for this treatment that it has been performing since 2004. We met other patients there who had flown in from Brazil, Canada and America for it.
'Mum has good days and bad days with her sight now. She can see shapes and bright lights and on some days much more than that. One day when we were out there she was able to see the writing on a sign quite clearly.
'The doctor said she should hopefully get steadily better over the next six to 12 months. After a year her sight will probably be as good as it's going to get.'