Stem cells from umbilical cords are increasingly being stored in private banks for autologous use. “Newsweek” added to the debate writing about Dallas Hextell, who at the age of 8 months was diagnosed with cerebral paralysis, a condition normally caused by serious neural damage due to oxygen deprivation in the uterus or at birth. His parents consulted various neurologists, but the possibility of a recovery was virtually non-existant.
About 9 months later, when given the opportunity to participate in a Duke University clinical study on autologous stem cell transplants (stem cells that are stored for later use by the same donor) the couple did not let the opportunity slip away. When Dallas was born, blood from his umbilical cord was removed for autologous use. His parents paid, like in Italy, to store the umbilical cord in a private bank.
A week after the transplant, Dallas suddenly started to speak, calling for his mother. Today he is 2 years old and is able to walk on his own and do the unthinkable for a child with cerebral paralysis. This story truely puts an interesting spin on the controversial topic of stem cell storage.