Stem Cell Therapy in New Zealand: Prof Charles McGhee Cures Blind Patients





Looking for stem cell therapy in New Zealand? Check out this story about the work of Professor Charles McGhee in using stem cells to help blind patients. According to stuff.co.nz, McGhee works for both the Auckland District Health Board as well as the Auckland University Medical School. Read the story below.

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When it comes to stem cell therapy success stories, the ones that are usually reported by the media involve treatments that succeeded in helping restore the eyesight of blind (or nearly blind) patients. This is the case for American Macie Morse who, according to reports, had a successful stem cell therapy in China. Another American patient, the legally blind Adam Kitchen, also successfully underwent stem cell surgery in China.

Now, here’s a report from stuff.co.nz about a surgeon in New Zealand, Professor Charles McGhee, who has successfully used stem cell therapy to help patients with eye problems.

stuff.co.nz reports:

Over the past nine months Professor Charles McGhee and his colleagues have performed the operation on five subjects, in each case taking healthy stem cells from a patient’s uninjured eye and growing them for up to three weeks on amniotic membrane taken from a human placenta, before reimplanting the lab-grown cells back into the injured eye. In two of the five operations, the patients simultaneously received conventional corneal transplants.
The stem-cell technique, which is still in its infancy abroad, had not been performed before in New Zealand, and according to McGhee, has had “really quite dramatic” results.

One of the patients who had stem-cell enhanced surgery under Professor McGhee is a 42 year old call center agent named Aparna Unnikrishnan. More from stuff.co.nz on her story:

More than once in the 30 years since her cornea was pierced by a splinter of flying glass, Aparna Unnikrishnan’s right eye was so painful that she begged her doctors to cut it out.

The eye has been effectively blind, able to differentiate only light from dark, since Unnikrishnan’s aunt dropped a soda bottle and a shard flew up and cut the then 12-year-old’s eye.
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During a four-hour operation by McGhee under general anaesthetic on September 30, Unnikrishnan got a new cornea, grafted from a deceased donor. The poor state of her eye meant that the graft would normally have failed in a matter of weeks. But at the same time, Unnikrishnan received a graft of thousands of her own lab-grown stem cells, which meant the corneal transplant has a fighting chance of lasting five years, if not more.

Straight after the operation she could distinguish large shapes with her previously blind eye, and when she met the Star-Times last week she could make out facial features. After years of not being able to read a single letter on an optometrist’s chart with that eye, she can now read the first three lines.

Congratulations to Ms. Unnikrishnan and we hope that her eyesight will continue to further improve.

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Those of us who are looking for alternative treatments to our heath conditions may be inspired by these stem cell success stories. However, we should be mindful of the fact that stem cell therapy is still in its “infancy” stage and that there are unscrupulous individuals out there who are out to scam patients. Please read our post on the warning signs or red flags that you should look out for to avoid being taken advantage of by scammy stem cell clinics.