Stem Cell Therapy gives Man with IPF Renewed Hope


Pioneer Founding member
Very interesting story that many of us can relate to. ANother Member posted about this man earlier this week

More than data, I had faith in my body’s power to renew
Posted On Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 12:07:52 AM’s-power-to-renew.html

Udayan Patel, 66, Mumbai’s eminent psycho-therapist, was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2009. The doctor’s verdict was unambiguous: it’s a nasty disease that debilitates the body and severely curtails lifespan. Here, in an evocative piece, he describes the after-effects of the prognosis and how his desperate search for help and hope led him to stem cell therapy

To cope with the constant awareness of a limited lifespan is difficult. I started having intense memory experiences

The nasty dry cough had prolonged unreasonably, defeating various medication. After several months, spanning seasons, I began to feel that there was something very wrong with my lungs. I had started smoking while still at school, continued through college and adult life, stopping only at the age of 52. Though I’ve had five bypass surgeries, as an ex-smoker one always has to be ready for the judgement of consequences.

So I referred myself to Dr Farokh Udwadia. He examined me; he heard the sound of my lungs and, even as I lay on the examining table, he silently walked away to stand behind his desk where he extended his arms and gave his stethoscope a satisfied stretch. It was the confident gesture of a good diagnostician: he’d figured out what was wrong with me.

He prescribed a battery of tests: blood work, chest scan, lungs function test which he wanted me to do immediately. I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis-my lungs were packing up on me, and there was no known cause, hence idiopathic.

“It’s a nasty disease, Udayan,” Udwadia told me bluntly. I was put on cortisones but also told that in this disease nothing really works. My cough wouldn’t go. From the way Dr Udwadia spoke, I understood that my day-to-day life was going to be severely curtailed. Already, within days of the diagnosis, walking had become a strain. This was March 2009.

My oxygen levels started dipping, posing danger to both head and heart. I now kept an oxometer and monitored my levels periodically. In November of that year I went for a holiday to Mahabaleshwar. There, I found myself unable to walk, I felt a great unease and was alarmed because never in my life have I felt such extreme fatigue. I cut short the holiday and drove back and went straight to my doctor.

By this time I was referring with Dr Pratibha Singhal at Bombay Hospital. She upped the cortisone dose and put me on oxygen. I felt such overwhelming relief the moment I was given oxygen that I have had no qualms about being on oxygen 24 by 7 since. There seemed no point in resisting it.

Despite that my life slowly began coming to a standstill. Everything became an effort. All around me I saw people running, walking, being active… This had become my past. I became conscious of each measure of time.

There were other changes too. I like my drink, but because of the heavy medication and my body already struggling, there was the danger of damaging my liver. I was told I could have 60 ml of alcohol a week. I divided it into six days. Measuring my pleasures in coffee-spoons.

I told my doctor I wanted to read up everything that was available on the disease. I wanted to know what restriction were coming and how much time I had left. She gave me a book by an Indian doctor based in the US, Dr Ganesh Raghu. I found out that statistically I had two to five years left. Every dark cloud was mentioned in the book. I was very impressed by his way of thinking and I tracked him to Seattle.

A lung transplant was suggested but that would mean I’d have to live abroad for the next three to four years, primarily because of the cleaner air there. This did not seem like a genuine option to me as my work was here. I began to read more case studies and discovered there was no real hope. It seemed I may not have very long.

To cope with the constant awareness of a limited lifespan is difficult. I started having intense memory experiences. I’d wake up most mornings from vivid dreams which would evoke a certain memory set. It could be a face, a colour, even a particular light! The more restricted my physical life became, the more vivid the life of my mind got.

I had thoughts like, Would I ever see another city; would I get to see the sea link extended to Nariman Point. There was a ceaseless review of my life going on in my head, the dark errors, the people I had hurt deeply, the knowledge of how shallow and impulsive I had been…Those days were difficult.

I felt a curtain of darkness descend round me that separated me from the rest of the world. I wanted to talk about what was happening to me but who would want to listen? I could see how anxious my wife and daughter already were and I debated how much of my emotional problem to share with them.

Then two things happened, almost simultaneously. In 2010, I went to the US, with the aim of meeting Dr Raghu in Seattle. I broke my journey in Boston. In the US, through friends, I met another patient of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was confined to a room, surrounded by rows of oxygen cylinders. It was a bleak and terrifying image of complete paralysis.

I decided to abandon the idea of conventional medicine-it offered little hope anyway. I cancelled my trip to Seattle and instead, I went to Harvard. My friend, the scholar Homi K Bhabha, put me in touch with Dr Douglas Melton there who is doing research in stem cells. He has a fascinating mind. While his research does not involve humans, he convinced me stem cells would not harm me.

After all it’s our cells that create the body in the womb, organ by organ. Instead of looking for quantifiable data, I put faith in the scientific idea that the body has the knowledge to regenerate. I also felt that stuff taken out from my body and injected back could not have an adverse impact as it was not something foreign being introduced.

I returned to Mumbai and approached Kasiak Regenerative Cellutions which conducts stem cell research. My wife and I had already met the scientist there, Vijay Sharma, and we agreed to put me through stem cell therapy.

Stem cells drawn from my body are treated and injected back every month. Initially the regeneration manifest itself in my skin, the wrinkles faded, the tone improved, then gradually my oxygen levels improved. While earlier, at rest, my oxygen level was 89-90 per cent, it has now gone up to 95-97 per cent.

For a man gasping for every ion, that’s a big improvement. Armed with a mobile battery-operated oxygen pack, I can walk on the treadmill, I can swim a few lengths and walk 170 meters without panting. I can work for a full day, travel, go to music concerts of longer duration. You’ll usually find me in the last row of the auditorium, my oxygen tower plugged in a socket somewhere in the wall. My various other parameters too have stabilised.

With the oxygen levels improving, my mood also began to lift and I could be more attentive to miute shifts. I re-read the psychoanalyst Meltzer who said attention is love. This idea which I had known, began to acquire a new life. Attention, observation and trust are the fundamentals of my life. I realized if I developed patience with whatever I was feeling, and yet was attentive to all that was going around me, I’d be able to live a quiet life.
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Stem cell therapy

Thank you for sharing your story. I am having the stem cell therapy the end of August, 2011. HOPE


New member
hi f Raju Joshi from india

Dear Gail
Hi I am looking out for stemcell treatment for my mother ,how are you after your stemcell treatment? what kind of stem cell therapy did you undergo? thru IV (DRIP) OR through bronchoscopy?

Raju Joshi