Skip to comments.‘Patient A’ proud to carry hopes [for embryonic stem-cell research]
Posted on 06/06/2011 3:29:55 PM PDT by madprof98
CHATOM, Ala. Every now and then, Timothy J. Atchison thinks he feels a little something when rubbing his legs.
But he knows to temper any feelings of excitement or optimism. Left paralyzed from the chest down after a car crash last fall, the baby-faced 21-year-old reminds himself that it could be simply phantom feelings.
A lot rides on his immobile legs they carry the hopes and dreams of tens of thousands of severely injured people. Atchison is Patient A, the formerly anonymous person who volunteered to have embryonic stem cells injected into his spine. It was the first such human trial; the start of a long, uncertain process that one day could lead to treatments that reverse paralysis.
News of the ground-breaking medical experiment that took place last October in Atlanta quickly shot around the world, thrilling many, but troubling others who feel using embryonic cells is destroying human life.
Atchison, a Southern Baptist who until recently remained anonymous because of concerns about such controversy, said he has come forward because his course of treatment is nothing to be ashamed of or to keep secret.
How can you be upset with anyone being able to walk? he said from his home near Chatom, an outpost in the sandy pine forests of southwest Alabama. People are rooting for me.
Atchison, a nursing student everyone calls T.J., was vaguely aware of stem-cell research before all this. But the monumental implications of it struck him as he lay in his hospital bed, recuperating from the procedure, and flipped on the TV.
We turned on the news, and it was everywhere. Im watching it and [thinking,] Theyre talking about me. I had no idea how big a deal it was.
Eight months later, after a stint at the Shepherd Center, Atchison is back at home with his mother and stepdad and younger siblings. His days lately are unremarkable: watching his little sister, visiting with his cousin, piddling with his computer, maybe catching a movie. The low-key Atchison cant wait for fall, when he will return to his friends and nursing studies back at the University of South Alabama. He cant wait to get his life started again after this terrible hiatus.
The family was vaguely aware of the stem cell debate. Right to Life groups and others contend using embryonic stem cells is taking a life. Others argue that its a slippery slope toward creating life to be used almost as spare parts.
We thought it was Gods will to get in there, that they approached him, said McDonald. How could it be so perfect if [God] wasnt involved?
Atchison cut in, Were not destroying any life with embryonic stem cells. Theyd be destroyed anyway.
Atchison hasnt heard any negative comments about his choice, although he has read some online. He shrugged when asked about such opinions. He doesnt want to dwell there. He has tried to remain positive and upbeat from the start, comforting devastated family members and friends who came to visit him in the hospital.
His demeanor has impressed his doctors and his fellow Chatom residents, who have known Atchisons secret since last fall and who have rallied in support. The local hardware store donated lumber for a wheelchair ramp that a Christian group built for him. A large banner hangs in a restaurant: Pray it Forward for T.J. It carries a couple hundred signatures and well-wishes.
[More detail is provided at the link.]
That is one reason I cancelled my subscription to the AJC several years back and have no intention of ever subscribing again.
And don’t hold your breath for it ever happening.
"Atchison cut in, Were not destroying any life with embryonic stem cells. Theyd be destroyed anyway.
Translation: "I didn't actually kill the baby! I'm just agreeing to use part of his dead body in the deluded hope that it might cure me!"
Hitler would be proud.
As far as I can tell, there had not been a single positive outcome from embryonic stem cell research. Smart money is being placed with adult stem cell research. I believe that even Al Gore is putting his money with adult stem cells.
Are they trying the procedure with adult stem cells?
Using stem cells from the patient’s own body would dramatically reduce the likelihood of rejection or tumor growth.
And, of course, no embryos would be destroyed.
He contradicts himself, showing his double-minded state is being exploited if indeed he is a born again Southern Baptist Christian and not another bino.
Enjoy your tumor.
We know that nerves can regrow...
Then Pepsi will be full steam ahead, huh.
Soylent will simply change color to cola brown.
The article isn’t even news. No one knows yet if this is going to work, or if the patients will get tumors. You’re darn right this is propaganda.
I guess they've never learned how the Devil can use what looks like something perfect, for evil.
Indeed. Just the other day, I read an article in which adult stem cells had been used to restore nerve-damage hearing loss. The test case was a young lady in college studying music, who developed rapidly deteriorating nerve damage. Her parents (both physicians) had heard about such a process, and got her into the program. One ear was virtually completely deaf, and the other deteriorating. The researchers harvested stem cells from her nasal passages, cultured them, and injected them into her ears. The virtually totally deaf ear now has 50% of hearing restored, and the other ear has also improved.
I must admit to personal interest, as I also have one essentially completely deaf ear. The other seems to be holding up, but I "am" getting older.