Success Story

How stem cell treatment can help with paediatric stroke

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Shelley Connelly had a fantastic pregnancy with her daughter, Peyton. Nevertheless, Shelley decided to bank her daughter’s cord blood.

Unfortunately, days before her first birthday Peyton became ill; when Shelley went to stand Peyton up in her cot she “just fell over”.

Peyton had a very large tumour which needed to be removed immediately.

The doctors then broke further devastating news that Peyton had suffered a massive stroke and that there was nothing they could do.

The lasting effects of a paediatric stroke can be life-changing —especially in those who develop a long term brain injury or physical disability.

Some, but not all, survivors of a stroke during childhood or perinatal stroke may develop conditions such as cerebral palsy, visual problems, hearing problems, speech and language difficulties, epilepsy and learning difficulties.

Shelley realised that because she had banked Peyton’s cord blood there were options available to her.

Peyton was able to access an experimental therapy and had her cord blood stem cells infused.

Since the infusion she no longer needs speech therapy. “100 per cent, she’s mentally fine”, said Shelley.

“It’s amazing. If this is what we can achieve with cord blood reinfusion I want it available to more people; I want it available to anyone that wants it”, said Shelley speaking about cord blood.

Strokes occur in up to 13 per 100,000 children in the UK.

It is thought there are around 400 childhood strokes a year in the UK. 1 in 4,000 babies have a stroke at birth worldwide – this translates to around 200 strokes in babies a year in the UK alone.

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