Stroke is one of the world’s most common health conditions, with an estimated 1 in 4 adults over the age of 25 experiencing one in their lifetime. It is a potentially life threatening event and about 5.5 million people die from stoke each year.
In 2018, the 60-year-old father of Lucie Pínová was one of the unlucky people affected by stroke. He wasn’t found until 8 hours after the stroke had occurred. Once he was discovered, he was quickly rushed to a hospital near Brno, Czech Republic.
Once he arrived at the hospital, he immediately received medication to dissolve a large blood clot in his artery. Unfortunately, the stroke had already impacted the left cerebral hemisphere of his brain. It caused paralysis and sensory disturbances that affected the right half of his body. He was unable to speak coherently and could no longer walk unassisted.
Doctors told Lucie that her father’s disabilities were permanent, and he would no longer be able to live independently. He would have to either go home with the family or be placed in an assisted living facility.
After some research, the family placed him into a rehabilitation institute in Kladruby, near Prague. He undertook physical rehabilitation while there and did manage to regain some function.
Several months later, Lucie was watching television and saw a segment showcasing the regenerative capacity of stem cells. She began studying the topic and learned how umbilical cord blood stem cells had been successfully used to treat the symptoms of stroke.
She contacted several stem cell clinics in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to learn if the treatment would be safe for her father. Lucie was told that the treatment could be useful for improving her father’s condition and would not worsen it.
A few weeks later, the family took their father to a stem cell clinic in Slovakia. He received a stem cell transplant, using cells derived from umbilical cord blood and tissue. He received a combination of hematopoietic stem cells from umbilical cord blood and mesenchymal stromal cells from umbilical cord tissue.
After the treatment, Lucie’s father continued to receive physical therapy. Within a few months, there was a noticeable improvement in his symptoms. He was able to move around more easily and his speech became more coherent.
He received another treatment in 2019, this time using stem cells from Lucie’s baby. This further improved his condition. After the experience, Lucie has become a proponent of stem cells and recommends that all families preserve their children’s cord blood stem cells.