KJ Walker is a recovering American paraplegic from Chicago, Illinois. Aside from her established routine of working towards recovery, KJ is very vocal in supporting others who are also fighting disability. She hosts a Youtube show called ‘Fight disability with KJ Walker’
While already undergoing regular Physical Therapy sessions, KJ sought new ways to push her body towards recovery. She began looking up modern treatments for Spinal Cord Injury and one treatment that caught her attention is the Stem Cell Treatment. As she researched her options for this treatment, Unique Access Medical stood out in terms of the overall quality of treatment as well as patient feedback.
After the initial communication with Unique Access Representatives, KJ travelled to Bangkok to receive her treatment and she documented her trip and treatment experience on Youtube.
Travelling to Thailand
KJs trip to Bangkok was different from her other trips. It is the first time she had decided to go on a long plane ride by herself since her injury. KJ’s trip was a single stop at Tokyo before continuing on to Thailand. The Chicago-Tokyo flight took her a total of 12 hours.
Despite her travelling in Business Class, KJ remarked about the challenge that the long flight posed. She mentioned that flying that length of time in economy would be near impossible. She extended her thanks to friends and family who donated the miles for her trip. Without their help, she says that she wouldn’t have been able to afford business class. From Tokyo, KJ had to travel another 7 hours to Bangkok.
KJ also briefly commended the airlines she took. Both United Airlines and Thai Airways thoroughly impressed KJ with the quality of service and food that they both provided.
Upon arrival at Bangkok, KJ was welcomed by Sang, who is the Customer Relations officer at Unique Access Medical. They had breakfast together and talked for a while.
Despite the long hours sitting in the flights as well as the inconveniences and challenges she faced travelling alone, KJ remained unfazed. She kept a positive frame of mind throughout the experience. With that and the amount of time she spent with Sang, she found herself with a new friend.
As she wrapped up her day, KJ briefly talked about how challenging the trip was as well as how confused her body was with the 11 hour time difference between Bangkok and Chicago.
Arriving at the Hospital
During her first day, KJ finally experienced first handedly the hospitality of Unique Access’ medical team. As soon as she arrived, her schedule was prepared. Numerous papers were all ready for her to sign. There were no long waits due to administrative processes, everything was laid down ahead of time for her. KJ also appreciated the team’s willingness to go and get her the things she wanted.
As she stayed at the Partner Hospital, KJ saw many patients from all around the world who sought for various treatments at the facility. She also talked about how she appreciated the environment at the hospital “Everything is clean and stylish, it really looks good, elevators going up. The hallways look nice too”
KJ’s Stem Cell Treatment
On her first day of treatment, KJ had 20 million umbilical cord Stem Cells introduced via IV. The whole procedure took no more than 30 minutes. To help her stay relaxed during the session, KJ was given a mild dose of anti-histamine.
Her doctor told her that no side-effects were expected. On rare occasions, however, some patients seemed to sleep more in the evening after the procedure.
In the afternoon, KJ asked about the differences in Stem Cells as she was familiar with the fact that a well-known Stem Cell Treatment provider in Panama preferred to give Stem Cells from bone marrow extracted from a patient via Lumbar Puncture.
The doctor from the Medical Department at Unique Access Medical explained the difference. “The older the patient gets, the older the marrow cells are. Results are generally better with younger cells, so umbilical cord cells are preferred. We have seen better results with umbilical cord cells introduced via IV than bone marrow Lumbar Puncture. Results may vary with the age of patient and bone marrow cells”
As part of her treatment, KJ underwent Paired Associative Stimulation (PAS). This therapy makes use of electromagnetic fields to simultaneously stimulate the motor cortex and muscles in the lower body. Research has shown that this treatment stimulates plasticity, or adaptation on the part of the body and may aid the re-establishment of neural links lost due to Spinal Cord Injury.
After this, KJ underwent a second dosage of Stem Cells delivered via Lumbar Puncture. She was made to lay on her side. And then she received an initial dose of anaesthesia. After this, the long needle was inserted in her L3 area which allowed the doctors to inject the Stem Cells directly into the spinal fluid. From there the Stem Cells were expected to circulate and reach the scar tissue that experienced chronic inflammation.
During her stay at Unique Access, KJ underwent a daily workout regimen. Her Physical Therapy team continued to push her and as a result of this and her treatments, she has made significant progress. She had two hours of Physical Therapy and one hour of Occupational Therapy daily.
“You will want to give up. But they won’t let you. Photos show postures and positions that I haven’t been able to do since the injury. Sitting up straight, holding my balance, working out with the ball. We did an hour of stretching every day and it was amazing. They hold me and now, I’m sitting up by myself. I really liked those guys a lot they helped me a lot and motivated me a lot.”
For more information on the Stem Cell Treatment and how we can help you or your loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
H/T: Fight Disability with K.J Walker