A notice on the wall in the lobby informed us that all doctors, staff, and patients were to meet today at 11:30. It had been up for a week and Dianne and I were puzzling about what this might be about. It turned out to be the most fascinating and informative interaction we have had yet.
First the patients were each asked to share about themselves. I will talk more about our group later. Then Dr. Schroff (nearest) and Dr. Ashish (center) spoke a bit and the floor was opened to questions. So much information came out of this discussion that I will gratefully have material for several upcoming blogs.
Being one hungry for empirical data rather than anecdotal evidence, I found Dr. Schroff's brain SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography- a nuclear imaging test that shows how blood flows in organs and tissues) scans of an 11-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy to be the most compelling. As you can see in the 'before' picture, there are large dark patches which indicate damaged areas of his brain. In the 'after' scan you can clearly see that the dark areas have decreased dramatically in size. Continued improvements in these scans were seen several months after the initial treatment period.
This rekindled my hopes of improvements for Cash. As I confided in Dianne earlier, I do not see a marked change in him since my return. I see improvements and advancement but nothing that suggests a leap from the slow but steady progress we have seen in him to date. It is not that I doubt the stem cells can work, rather I don't believe we have quite reached the tipping point where changes become definitively apparent. Every day he gets hundreds of thousands of new cells injected into his body and any one of them could tip the balance.