Andrew Ricci -- Cerebral Palsy
Stem cell treated

Andrew Ricci, USA, Age 2, Primary Condition: Cerebral Palsy. Andrew's father sat down in Hangzhou to tell us about his and Andrew's experience living in a Chinese hospital and receiving umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of cerebral Palsy. With this being Andrew's second trip to China, his father had a lot to say about the improvements they saw in Andrew after his first trip to China.

Andrew was born at 25 weeks weighing 1lb and 9oz. After being in the NICU for 97 days he had to be incubated for a further six weeks. Despite this rough beginning, Andrew is a precocious and happy child. During the first year of his life, his parents noticed that he was missing motor milestones in his development. In the summer of 2007 he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
Before coming to China, A
Before coming to China, Andrew's gross motor skills, fine motor skills and speech control were all developmentally delayed. He had trouble rolling over and sitting unassisted. His right arm was stronger than his left. He had more control over his right hand than left. He had trouble with oral motor control and therefore had trouble both with speaking and eating. He was able to make a few sounds such as "es" for yes and also "dadadada" and "eeeee". He had difficulty eating solid food and had delayed gastric-emptying, which led to bouts of vomiting almost every day.

Reason for Coming for Treatment
In the U.S. Drew was receiving extensive therapy through his school system and was making good progress, although he was still delayed in reaching motor and speech milestones for his age group. His delayed gastric-emptying was also causing major problems in getting the nutrition he needed. It affected his quality of life in general. While researching potential treatments, Drew's parents discovered adult stem cell therapy as a promising option. After consideration, they decided that stem cells were an appropriate next step to help complement Andrew's ongoing therapy. As Mike Ricci, Andrew's father said, "You can only do so much through traditional therapy. We wanted to do stem cell treatment to give him the extra boost he needs. And then through therapy, give him the extra abilities. I don't think stem cells alone are going to cure anything unless you keep going with the therapy and further train his mind to do new things."

Treatment in China

First Therapy: 6 Umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants, acupuncture and rehabilitation therapy.
Second Therapy: 8 umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants, acupuncture and rehabilitation therapy.

Condition After Treatment
During their first month-long stay in China, Andrew received six umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants. While still in the hospital, Andrew's parents noticed that there where already changes in his eating habits and gastric emptying.
As Mike Ricci explains, "[When] we first got here he was unable to drink water without choking, he was unable to eat food that was not of a mushy consistency. And by the time we left he was eating nachos and cheese and drinking water."
Along with his improved eating ability, Drew was able to make more sounds and he began to say many new words.

Drew's physical abilities also improved after he returned home to the U.S. His American therapist noticed that his fine motor control had improved. For example he was able to reach out and point to or grab specific objects. The therapist also reported that his gross motor function had improved. His head control was better, he was able to role more easily and he had started to crawl.
Encouraged by the improvements they saw in Andrew after his first round of stem cell treatments, his family decided to come back for another round of stem cells in March of 2009. During this round, Andrew received eight injections. (As news of his continued progress comes in, check back here for updates on Drew's condition.)

Bicol University
College of industrial technology
S.Y. 2010-2011


Submitted by:
Emargellen B. Mamon

Submitted to:
Prof. Corazon Barrameda


Research 8.1 of 10 on the basis of 2814 Review.