Because stem cell research and treatment are banned in the United States, some American patients and their families are looking at China as the place where they can receive stem cell treatment.
How much would a stem cell treatment in China cost? According to the story below, the process can cost about $20,000. It is worth noting however that the actual cost could be much higher (or lower) than said amount for, as we very well know, it all depends on the specific circumstances of the patients involved.
Brody is in a comatose state after nearly drowning last year. The two-year-old crawled through a doggie door at a sitter’s house and fell into the pool.
He spent weeks in the hospital, and now back at home, Brody still doesn’t have use of much of his body and breathes through a tube.
“I started researching then, what can I do and where can I go,” says his mother Jackie.
The answer became stem cell research. The family decided to look outside the country to China.
“It’s a 23 hour trip,” Jackie says. “It’s a little scary. You’ve got a child on a vent and on all this equipment.”
But recently, more parents are making the trek for their children. Already researchers say at least 600 patients from around the world have flocked to China for stem cell treatment, a process that can cost around $20,000.
“He’ll get four different treatments, stem cells into his lumbar, into his spine. It’s kind of like a spinal tap,” Jackie describes.
“I have researched this day and night until I’m blue in the face. I feel very good about it.”
But many still question whether or not it actually works. And with recent reports of scams by stem cell doctors, Jackie says people have expressed their doubts to her. But she is confident in the care Brody will be getting.
“He’s young and he has a lot of good things on his side,” she says. “There is controversy with everything. Every brain is different, every injury is different.”
“If it works, it will be wonderful. If it doesn’t, we’ll keep trying with something else.”
She says even the smallest improvement will be worth it. And in the end, her goal is clear:
“To get a little piece of Brody back,” she says. “To give him a quality of life.”
Jackie and Brody will be in China for five weeks, and she’s expecting it to be at least six months before they start to see any changes.