Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Superman Returns After Stem Cell Therapy!

Thursday, September 07, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

The most rewarding part of our job here at Theravitae is hearing from our former patients and how well they are doing. James "Superman" Burns is our latest success story. I'll let Superman take it from here--

Everyone at VesCell: Friends, please find attached a news article (see below) to my hometown newspaper. This is the first of many articles to start appearing to let the people of this country know that there is hope out there even if it is 4000 miles away. I am sorry that there will be no time for you to make comments as it will be going to the printer this evening, but time is flying and I have to get on this train and start my campaign. I have made this one very generic, the following ones are going to be more explicit. Get on board as this is going to be one hell of a ride. Again I thank all the people that has helped me get started on the road with a better heart, I love you all and to Sher, stay safe and keep the faith. You will notice I have a new email address, my old one went bad and locked me out.

James "Superman" Burns (Dr. Suphachai understands)
Milton-Freewater man first stem cell recipient from Oregon
By Marcia Akes
Jim Burns feels like a new man. The Milton-Freewater resident, who has suffered for 23 years with a bad heart, recently underwent a stem cell procedure in Bangkok, Thailand.
Burns makes it very clear that the stem cell therapy does not involve embryos, fetuses, or any animal products. “They use adult stem cells taken from your own blood, which induce the growth of blood vessels, and introduce them through your arteries or inject them directly into your heart,” he states.
A pioneer in this area, Burns is the first person in Oregon to have received VesCell Adult Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Disease, by one of the world’s leading stem cell therapy companies, TheraVitae. The company conducted a clinical trial in Bangkok that led to the approval of its first commercial therapy for "no option" heart patients. To date, over 120 patients from around the world, suffering from very severe heart failure, have been successfully treated with VesCell.
At the time of his procedure, Burns notes that there were about 26 people from the United States who had undergone the procedure. Before leaving for Bangkok, he visited with the only patient from the state of Washington, who told him he had great results. While Burns was in Thailand the first person from Canada was also there receiving the therapy. The legendary Hawaiian crooner Don Ho was a patient in December of last year, returned to the stage one month later in January, and celebrated his 76th birthday last month.
Burns has a traumatic history of heart problems starting 23 years ago with a heart attack that landed him in Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, at the age of 44. There they did an angiogram and told him they had bad news and worse news. One of his arteries was 65% blocked and the other was 85%. He says they told him he should go home and take care of his estate.
Instead, upon returning home, he started moving over two miles of irrigation pipe every day, on some farm land he owned. At first it took five hours to accomplish the task with having to stop and rest often. At the end of summer, however, he had cut the time down to ninety minutes. By pushing himself, and being in good health otherwise, his heart had grown one of its veins into an artery to replace the one that had 85% blockage.
That helped for several years, and then he started suffering numerous heart attacks ending with quadruple bypass surgery about 1996.
After sitting around for a year, not able to do anything, he started taking chelation treatments from a doctor in Tri-Cities. Burns says he built back up and was able to work a 12 hour day, if needed. Unfortunately, a couple years ago his heart started getting worse. He went the usual route with agioplasty, stents, rotor blade procedure to remove blockages and last year he didn’t feel well at all.
It was then he remembered a program he had watched on Public Television about some English doctors doing a test of stem cell therapy on twenty people, with amazing results. Last May, he went on the internet and searched for that information. The usual time from filling out an application to having a check-up, and then being accepted into the program, is six months. Through a series of cancelled appointments and other things that happened Burns explains, “In my case, God intervened and I went in six weeks.”
He worked with his coordinator, went to Spokane for some major tests, and because of the extremely poor condition of his heart he was accepted into the program. On July 20th he arrived in Bangkok and talked to the doctor there. He entered the hospital on the 24th and was monitored. The hospital drew his blood on the 25th. The blood was sent to a lab in Israel where TheraVitae has developed a proprietary technology to generate millions of stem cells, as there are far too few stem cells in anyone's blood to be effective. Burns returned to the hospital in five days and the procedure was performed the next day, on August 1st.
Patients are required to stay in the hospital for two to three days and be monitored. As everything went well, he was able to fly home on August 4th.
The process takes up to a full year to improve the blood flow in the heart Burns notes, but people usually notice a difference in three to four weeks, if the procedure is going to work for them. He noticed improvement a little over a week later when he was able to stand up in church and start singing the hymn immediately, instead of having to wait to catch his breath.
His coordinator will continue to work with him and monitor his progress for a year; and his personal physician in Spokane has to see him on a set schedule for check-ups and tests.
Burns tells stories of other’s successes like the man from Washington who was on the mechanical heart transplant list and couldn’t walk across the street without having to stop and rest. His heart blood flow was only 11% and three months after the stem cell therapy it was 38%. He now walks one and one-half miles a day and is working up to two miles.
One totally unexpected side effect of the therapy for Burns, who is a diabetic, is that his blood sugar has lowered. He has been able to reduce the insulin he takes to where his blood sugar is almost normal.
Though the procedure seems to be doing what it is meant to do in most of the patients, it does come with a hefty price. All medical tests, doctors, the stem cell therapy, and airfare come to about $35,000; and at this point insurance companies are not paying for any of it.
The new treatment has not been approved in the US and Burns explains that it is downplayed by the doctors here. He also notes that he believes pharmaceutical companies are probably against stem cell therapy as they make so much money from heart medicines.
Approximately 13 million Americans, or 7% of the population, have one or more types of heart disease, a disease which caused one of every five deaths in the United States in 2003 and which is the single largest killer of Americans. Approximately every 26 seconds an American will suffer a coronary event, and about every minute someone will die from one. The resulting costs for the treatment of heart disease in the US are enormous - estimated to reach $258.5 billion in 2006.
The VesCell web site states: “While VesCell treatment may not cure heart disease, it can substantially improve the flow of blood in a large majority of the patients treated, thus reducing chest pains and sharply increasing physical capacity. The quality of life for many of those treated has increased noticeably, and in their words, "more than I had hoped for." Many activities enjoyed before their illness have once again become possible and enjoyable.”
Anyone interested in finding out about the stem cell procedure for themselves: go to the web site at - click on “VesCell for Heart Disease” - click on “Contact Us” - click on “Heart Treatment Inquiries” - fill out the form and click “Submit.“ You will hear from one of their representatives within 24 hours. For questions or more information call 1-866-690-2008 (24 hours - Toll-Free)
Other diseases and medical problems are also being researched and gaining results Burns reports. “A private research company has cured a rat of a spinal cord injury by rebuilding the spinal cord, the blood system, and the nervous system. The only place you saw about it was a five minute blurp on television and on the back page of a few newspapers.”
“This is a personal thing,” he continues. “This is one of the greatest medical discoveries. Christopher Reeves fought for this until he died and that was all the coverage it got. Ten years ago they said this couldn’t be done and they’ve done it.”
Burns is very adamant about getting the word out regarding stem cell therapy so people who have heart problems and basically no hope, as he did, know they have a choice. He realizes stem cell research is a very controversial subject in the United States but, “This is not embryo stem cell research,” he states. “This is adult stem cell research where you use your own stem cells.”


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