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."
This kind of therapy should be made available in the US. Ridiculous that it isn’t.
There’s only one China.
Yep. Certainly is. There are some on this forum who want to completely ban stem cell research, no matter the source of the cells.
If only we had Nationalized health care................
Another thing you can blame on the Democrat party. Democrats want to do anything to sanctify abortion, so they all oppose any stem cell funding that specifically exempts cells harvested from dead babies. They only care about people like this child, or Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox only as long as it helps them to advance the cause of mainstreaming the murder of the unborn.
Me personally, I think we should fund such research, provided the cells are not harvested from murdered babies. When my baby is born, I plan to donate the cord blood for such research.
I've never seen anyone post that. Many of us are vehemently opposed to embryonic stem cell usage.
I've been getting some people to think about the issue IRL by pointing out how limited money for research really is and 'don't you think it should be spent on treatments that WORK?'
I'm very happy to read about another one.
That's what pregnant American women said about that miracle morning-sickness drug which was only available in Europe. You know - thalidomide.
Here’s the big thing about embryonic stem cells. If the child was already dead (stillborn, aborted, miscarried or whatever) then what does it matter how the cells are used? If the child was specifically aborted to use the cells, that’s a different story.
The funding is low, but the payoff is so high that we need to be doing the research. I’m not a big fan of people who are so stuck in their beliefs that they want to stand in the way of human progress.
Why don’t you go put on a full body condom, a respirator and a helmet? That will protect you from most anything that could go wrong.
Sometimes we as scientists make mistakes. It happens. Making the analogy that you have here is a false one and you should think it through a little bit more.
We’re taught to manage risk as best as we can, but at some point you have to decide, release your product or scrap the research. Nothing in life is 100% assured or safe, and there’s no reason to pretend that it should be.
I have to admit I am shocked. They helped a ‘girl’? In China?
It’s because of where some people think THAT will lead to. If you use the stem cells regardless of where they came from, some people THINK it MAY lead someone to have a baby JUST for the stem cells and kill it. It’s the same with gun shows....people don’t want to stop criminals from getting them at Gun Shows through a new law, because it MIGHT lead to OTHER laws at Gun Stores.
I don’t know that I would eat a shrimp sandwich in China.
Yeah well most people don’t think, of the remainder most don’t do it well. That’s as far as I’m going to go with that quote.
keep quiet the army is thinking abou that
but there will be those on this forum who disagree.
All power comes from the barrel of a gun,eh?
Really? Can you cite that without going to too much trouble?