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05 Feb 2016 3 Comments

Baby Isabella’s Own Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Helped Her Speak

In New York, three and a half year old Isabella was treated for Childhood Apraxia Syndrome (CAS), a form of speech disorder with her own umbilical cord stem cells stored in a private stem cell bank. Now, the baby can speak clearly, learn and repeat up to 10 words every day. This is a milestone achievement for patients suffering from CAS condition.

Isabella’s older brother Matthew, age 15 was diagnosed with the same condition when he was a child. This made their parents, Steven and Rosa to bank the umbilical cord stem cells of Isabella with a private stem cell bank. Childhood Apraxia is a motor speech disorder affecting the children’s ability to say sounds clearly. This is not due to weak muscles but the brain’s difficulty to move the lips, tongue and jaw to pronounce the words. Children with CAS may experience difficulty in producing speech sounds and long sentences, inconsistent speech errors, impaired rhythm, groping of tongue and lips etc.

Steven Barney and his wife did some research and found that Duke University performed a clinical study on treating Apraxia with cord blood. They thought that the cord blood, if preserved can help their older son, Matthew. When little Isabella was diagnosed with CAS, her stem cells were thawed and retrieved from the stem cell bank for the treatment. Barney says that the transfusion procedure took place for only 10 minutes and the toddler was kept in fluids for few hours.

Within 3 weeks of treatment, her speech improved slowly. Initially, when she tried to say her brother’s name, it was not clear. After the treatment she was able to say Matthew’s name without any struggle. With each passing week, Isabella‘s speech started to improve with high usage of words. Barney said, “She was speaking around one to two words per day before this transfusion… Now, she is able to say new words and tries to repeat our words. She can count to 10.”

Isabella’s parents made the right choice of storing their little girl’s precious stem cells which helped her live a normal life. Preserving the nature’s gift (stem cells) from the umbilical cord blood and cord tissue at the time of birth is the right choice as it is a 100% match for the baby. In Isabella’s case the power of stem cells was used to get her speech back while it could be lifesaving for others.

To know more about the benefits of stem cell banking read here

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