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Iowan going to Lisbon

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  • Iowan going to Lisbon

    An Eastern Iowan is going to some great lengths to walk again.

    20 year-old Amy Foels from Elkader was in a bad car accident two years ago.

    She's getting ready for a big trip overseas that could change her life forever..


    n January, Amy will fly to Lisbon, Portugal for a special spinal cord surgery using stem cells.

    That's because doctors can't perform it in the US.

    It will cost more than $60,000 and there are no guarantees.

    Amy says stem cells from her nasal cavities will be transplanted into her spinal cord -- in the area right below her belly button.

    "With that surgury they'll remove all my scar tissue which they think will relieve some of the pressure, that's back there," she says.

    Doctor Carlos Lima will perform the surgery.

    Other patients of his are now able to walk with braces and walkers.

    He says this is the first step to finding a true cure for spinal cord injuries like amy's.

    "I hope in 6 months, 12 months, ok 2 years they will be walking without them. I mean without any devices, just walking by themselves," Dr. Lima says.

    Amy says she was a little disappointed John Kerry didn't win the presidency.

    But she's glad more people are now talking about stem cell research.

    After she returns to the United States, amy will undergo six months of intense physical therapy in Michigan.

  • #2
    It will cost more than $60,000 and there are no guarantees.
    am I misinformed, or did the cost more than double?


    • #3
      I have heard that for people working through the group in Michigan, the cost increases because they are taking a cut too. Maybe that is to cover the six months of intense physical therapy?

      AB wife of T8 complete para
      AB wife of T8 complete para


      • #4
        'I want to walk again'

        'I want to walk again'

        Amy Foels of Iowa is hopeful after having experimental surgery

        By KEN FUSON
        January 14, 2005
        A 20-year-old college student has become the first Iowan and the 36th person in the world to undergo an experimental surgical procedure in Portugal that has shown promising results in helping people with spinal cord injuries.

        Amy Foels is expected to arrive Saturday at her parents' home in Elkader, eight days after doctors removed stem cells from inside her nose and implanted them in her spinal cord. Foels has been paralyzed from the waist down since a car accident in November 2002.

        "As far as we know, my doctor said that everything looks like it was successful," said Foels, a student at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. "It's just a waiting game now."

        Since the surgery, performed Jan. 7 at Egas Moniz Hospital in Lisbon, Foels has reported feeling a "more intense" tingling and a sensation of warmth in her legs.

        "Supposedly that's a good sign," she said.

        Doctors say any initial improvements probably are a result of cleaning scar tissue and taking pressure off her spinal cord during surgery. They say Foels may not see any long-term benefits from the procedure for three months to two years. Months of aggressive rehabilitation await her.

        "There's going to be a lot of hard work," she said earlier this week from a hotel room in Lisbon. "I'm ready for it. I want


        • #5
          Way to go Amy, Wish you the best please keep us posted if your here.

          besides what Amy hopfully gets in return, 20k, 40k or 60k couldn't buy this much media/people attention to SCI and research.

          "All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
          Gandolf the Gray

          2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member

          "You kids and your cures, why back when I was injured they gave us a wheelchair and that's the way it was and we liked it!" Grumpy Old Man

          .."i used to be able to goof around so much because i knew Superman had my back. now all i've got is his example -- and that's gonna have to be enough."


          • #6
            Would be great if in a 3-5 years we could convert this site from "Care Cure" to "Post Progress" from effective treatments.


            • #7
              Way to go Amy.....We have been working dilegently over the past few months to get my daughter, Jacki to Portugal for the same procedure. We have done MRI's, CT's, Mylograms, EMG's, etc to get her accepted. We pray that we will have the same response that Amy received.
              Jacki sustained a SCI in 8/03. She is a complete paraplegic. She is 17 and such a great kid.
              Good luck to Amy....We ask that everyone pray for Jacki.

              Becki (Jacki's Mom)


              • #8
                Originally posted by scott pruett:

                It will cost more than $60,000 and there are no guarantees.
                am I misinformed, or did the cost more than double?

                Dr. Lima does not charge this amount for his procedure... [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]



                • #9
                  Any more news about this girl?



                  • #10
                    Jacki, my daughter, went to Portugal in October 2005 to have the OEG procedure. She did rehab in Michigan following the surgery.

                    She has continued the rehab at home. She has feeling returned in her hips, more movement in her legs and new "sensations" in her legs. She can now walk with braces on parrallel bars and a walker. She prefers the bars right now because of the stability.

                    It's hard to say how much of this improvement came from the surgery or from the rehab. The surgery was only 5 months ago. I think it is probably a combination of both.

                    Dr. Lima is a wonderful doctor and person. He is very caring and compassionate. After we returned home, he called a couple of times during the week.

                    We are very happy with Jacki's progress. We thank God daily for this!! It's by his grace and Jacki's determination!!

                    Jacki has a website that she tries to keep up in regards to the procedure and rehab. Anyone can go and read her entries.


                    Becki R.


                    • #11
                      Becki 380,
                      What great news about your daughter's new recovery since surgery in Portugal. Wish her all the very best with rehab and excercise at home. Do you live close to Michigan, where she did her rehab. I assume she was not walking at all and a fulltime wheelchair user before the surgery. What level of injury?? My son Brian, is 22 now, 5, T5 complete, and I am amazed that your daughter is walking with a walker. You have got my attention.Always feel like I am jumping the gun, and looking for anything that would possibly help my son walk though. Want to make sure we make the right decision in finding a therapy, but while we wait, time marches on and he is still in a chair. So frustrating. Sounds like you made the right move in getting her the surgery. I will check out her website.
                      Glad you posted here with an update on progress.