|El Pasoan literally sees good sign in wrapper|
|Optic Nerve Hypoplasia|
|周四, 16 7月 2009 09:32|
There are no translations available.
Source: Elpaso TimesEL PASO -- The sight of a candy bar wrapper on the ground was miraculous.
It proved that something was happening -- something more than just itchy eyes.
Lawrence E. Brown saw it as a sign that the cure he sought for his lifelong blindness just might be working.
Brown, 16, a senior at El Paso High School, was born with optic nerve hypoplasia. The underdevelopment of the nerves in his eyes allowed him to detect changes in light and the movement of shadows, but little else.
He, his mother and his sister worked to raise $60,000 last spring to pay for stem- cell transplant procedures in China. The therapy is not approved in the United States.
So the Brown family traveled 7,000 miles to Qingdao, China. His therapy began June 24 with an IV injection of umbilical stem cells. He has also undergone injections of stem cells directly into his spine.
Within a few days of his first treatment, his eyes began to itch. Brown said he knew the itching was also experienced by others who saw improvement through the treatment.
But it wasn't until July 9 that Brown spotted something that stunned him: a plain candy wrapper.
"This is really exciting news, and after this it will only get better," he wrote in his blog chronicling his experience.
U.S. experts, though, are skeptical. No treatment exists for Brown's condition, said Dr. Michael Repka, pediatric ophthalmologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
"That's why parents around the country have been interested in this Chinese promise," Repka said in an interview earlier this year. "I think we know an insufficient amount about the treatment, either why it should work or why it should not work."
Brown has received additional treatment since seeing the candy wrapper, and said he has been able to make out a few colors and shapes better than before.
At the end of this month he will return to El Paso, where he hopes his vision will continue to improve.
Erica Molina Johnson may be reached at 该E-mail地址已受到防止垃圾邮件机器人的保护，您必须启用浏览器的Java Script才能看到。 ; 546-6132.
Read about Brown's progress on his blog: