Skip to comments.Therapy in China gives blind Ark. girl some sight
Posted on 06/14/2008 7:46:06 AM PDT by Dr. Marten
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. When 9-year-old Kacie Sallee saw her father's face more clearly for the first time in her life, she had a question.
"She said, 'Is that what he looks like?'" said her mother, Marinda Sallee.
Kacie, who is blind, returned last week from China, where she received umbilical-cord stem cell treatment in hopes of improving her eyesight. The nearly four-week trip and medical treatment was paid through $60,000 in local donations.
Kacie was born with septo-optic dysplasia, an underdevelopment of the optic nerve and pituitary gland. She could see bright colors out of her right eye but only light and dark out of her left eye.
During treatment overseas, her family started noticing improvements. Kacie looked at a photograph of her father, Stephen Sallee, on the computer, and saw his eyes and mouth were more defined, Marinda Sallee said.
"Before, she would look at a face and say it had spots on it," she said. "It's little things, but for us, it's huge."
Now, Kacie is starting to see bright colors out of her left eye, which she could never detect before, Sallee said. She also can count fingers when they are held about four inches away from her face, she said.
Her family also is noticing a difference in the way Kacie uses her eyes. Before, she looked down most of the time, but now, she looks up and appears to watch more, Sallee said. At a local park Wednesday, Kacie seemed to watch her brother swing, her head moving back and forth.
Kacie, her mother and grandmother stayed at Chengyang People's Hospital in Qingdao, China. Kacie received four spinal and one intravenous umbilical stem cell transfusion by Beike Biotech.
The stem cells were obtained from umbilical cords of healthy babies and were not embryonic stem cells from a human embryo.
Umbilical stem-cell treatment is not approved in the United States for her condition, experts have said.
The Sallees chronicled their journey on a blog, which they updated nearly every day.
Kacie stayed in the hospital the day of her treatment and also the next day, because her back and head would hurt, Marinda said. After that, they explored area restaurants and markets.
Kacie bought dolls, which she named after her favorite translators April, Wendy and Amanda, she said. She also bought a jade bracelet and a tea set. The family learned to bargain for items with vendors by using a calculator, her mother said.
While in China, Kacie also looked forward to eating shrimp sandwiches at KFC, a menu item not offered locally, she said.
"I just wish I could see a picture of a shrimp sandwich at KFC," Kacie said, describing in detail how the sandwich was made.
The Sallees are grateful they could make the trip, Marinda Sallee said, adding the stem cells Kacie received will grow for one year. Oxygen treatment may help if they stop noticing improvements, she said. If Kacie keeps improving, they may consider going back to China for more treatments, she said.
While Kacie's eyesight improvements may be slow, Marinda Sallee plans to post any news on Kacie's Web site at
. Their China journey can be read at
"There may be weeks you will not have change, and then you notice something different," Marinda Sallee said. "We can't wait to see what tomorrow's is."
“Yeah well most people dont think, of the remainder most dont
do it well. Thats as far as Im going to go with that quote.”
Perhaps this is the quote you reference:
“Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so”.
Swords and spears are so passé you know...
Adult and Umbilical stem cells now have many proven uses.
Whereas embryonic stem cells are - apparently - only good for attracting government grant money.
Somebody already addressed what I’ll call the ‘oops angle’. So, I’ll take the other.
Of the funding, you assert that ‘the payoff is so high that we need to be doing the research’. We ARE doing the research. Public funding is available to anybody who will research alternate (non-embryonically derived) stem cells. From a purely scientific perspective, the embryonic cells don’t do very well. A propensity to develop into cancerous cells has been identified.
There is a probability that I’ve read insufficiently, but if you do have any sources that show that ‘the payoff is so high that we need to be doing the research’, I’d like to see it.
The stem cells used in this treatment were non-embyonic. The traetent is forbidden in the us because the FDA has not gotten around to aproving it.
You say, “if the child was already dead...”
First, thanks for acknowledging that an embryo is a child, which we knew anyway. Second, your reasoning - in truth, your rationalization - leads to: 1) first killing the child, then; 2) claiming that such “research” is okay, since the child is already dead. This is exactly what opponents of embryonic stem cell “research” have fought because we know it would take place just as you describe.
Third, embryonic stem cell “research” has no track record of success, which should answer your question. Those who champion this version of “research,” along with the likes of Michael Fox, should, when found in this girl’s circumstances, just stay home and wait for embryonic stem cell research to cure them, rather than go to where real stem cell research can accomplish its cures. Clearly this girl’s parents had their heads in the right place in selecting the only mode of research with real hope of curing her blindness.
Given the success deficit of embryonic stem cell research, and your insistence that it persist, despite its “low funding,” who is really so stuck in their beliefs here, you or those who recognize real research and real success? Recall that insanity is defined by some as making the same mistake again and again, hoping for a different result.
Which dovetails nicely with the notion that liberalism, with its blind-faith support of futile embryonic stem cell “research,” is a mental disease.
I'm stunned (stuned?) Your "logic" would also outlaw human organ donations. We'd soon be killing people to get them, wouldn't we? You've really carried your thinking way beyond all common sense.
I'm not claiming that it couldn't happen, but if a child were murdered to obtain his stem cells, then that crime would have to be punished. But to outlaw the use of embryonic stem cells from any source is just selfish and unscientific.
How can a scientist not know that embryonic stem cells come ONLY from embryos, NOT from stillbirths or miscarriages?
Your gratuitous insult aside, there’s nothing at all wrong with my analogy. American women, and their children, were protected from thalidomide because the FDA does move slowly. Have you forgotten what happened when researchers tried to race ahead, skipping animal research and going straight to human, using fetal cells (not embryonic) to treat Alzheimers’? The patients developed teratomas inside their skulls. I believe that was also in China.
No, embryonic stem cells can come from stillbirths and miscarriages.
Animal research does not necessarily correlate to human results. In the end, it comes down to whether or not we have the cojones to test on humans. Willing and completely informed participants of course, not willy-nilly.
No, I’m not an anti-religious bigot. I just choose not to believe. My biggest issue with the stance of completely opposing embryonic stem cells is the fact that if the baby is already dead, what harm is there in using the stem cells for research? I completely agree that creating a market for aborted fetuses is bad, if the fetuses are aborted specifically for the stem cells.
Think of it like this, I’m a corn farmer and I pick corn for food, but my crop has failed, I’ve only got greenery to show for it and not a single ear of corn. Is it wrong for me to sell the rest of the biomass for biodiesel production?
Like a poster just above me stated, following your “logic” we should outlaw organ donations, many donors are kept alive just to keep the organs ripe for harvest, others are pronounced early in order for doctors to get at the organs because they have a patient who needs one. How is that any different?
The stem cells were obtained from umbilical cords of healthy babies and were not embryonic stem cells from a human embryo. Umbilical stem cell treatment is not approved in the United States for her condition, experts have said.
While Kacie's eyesight improvements may be slow, Marinda Sallee plans to post any news on Kacie's Web site at www.kacieshope4vision.com. Their China journey can be read at http://stemcellschina.com/blog/kacie. "There may be weeks you will not have change, and then you notice something different," Marinda Sallee said. "We can't wait to see what tomorrow's is."
Thanks for the post & ping, respectively.
Miracles still happen! Thanks for the inspiration. Macy is a miracle baby.
"Count fingers" is a quick & dirty way to assess visual acuity. It's handy to determine the need for emergency eye treatment.