Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Stem Cell Therapy: A message from heart patient, Esteban Bonilla

Thursday, January 05, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

We received the following email from Esteban Bonilla regarding his recent trip to Bangkok for VesCell stem cell therapy to treat his heart failure. Just this morning, Reuters released a story about Mr. Bonilla's trip as well.

----- Original Message -----
From: Esteban Bonilla (email link removed)
To: Don Margolis
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:13 AM
Subject: Hi Don
Hello Don,

Thank you again for the time you gave me in Bangkok! I can say that I have never felt this good in a long time and I got to spend a few days in PA with Jeannine and family. I am back in Florida now and the weather has been good. I walk every morning and I try not to over do anything at this point. I am still sore on my left side but hey, small price to pay for such a tremendous operation! :)

Anyways, I know you are busy but please tell Bell and Jitra and Sak all is well with me. Take care Coo and I hope we meet again soon.

Peace always,

Esteban Bonilla

FEATURE-Stem cell therapy sparks hope in ailing hearts
05 Jan 2006 01:01:51 GMT
Source: Reuters

By Chawadee Nualkhair

BANGKOK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Esteban Bonilla feels no trepidation as he is wheeled into the operating room of a Bangkok hospital, despite the fact he is only minutes away from starting an experimental stem cell procedure he hopes will keep him alive.

"I really don't feel nervous at all," said the 37-year-old scuba instructor from Florida, who discovered his heart was failing at 32. "For the last five years, I've been waiting to die. This is the first time I've been hopeful to live."

The source of Bonilla's new-found hope is a novel therapy that involves injecting stem cells culled from the patient's own blood into the heart to try to regenerate ailing heart muscle.
The two-hour procedure, which involves a patient's own adult stem cells, skirts the risk of rejection by the body and thorny ethical issues surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells posed by some who equate using embryos with destroying human life.

"We have not lost a single patient," said Suphachai Chaithiraphan, chairman of Chao Phya Hospital and president of the Heart Association of Thailand. "If you can offer help to desperate people, then I think you should."

The destination for many of the heart patients seeking stem cell therapy is Thailand, where doctors have staked their reputations on a procedure they say could save thousands of people but has yet to be approved in the United States.

"With stem cell therapy, people who have not had access to heart transplants or resources to go to the hospital on a regular basis can be helped," said Kitipan V. Arom, chief cardio-thoracic surgeon at Bangkok Heart Hospital.

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