Stroke and stem cells: the story of a grandfather and his granddaughter - Swiss Stem Cells Science Skip to content

Stroke and stem cells: the story of a grandfather and his granddaughter

"You never know what might happen to your family tomorrow or maybe in 10 years and when you may need these cells"

In 2018, Lucie Pinova’s father was only 60 years old when he suffered an ischemic stroke caused by a clot in his carotid artery. The man was immediately rescued, but the ischemia severely affected the left hemisphere of his brain, causing paralysis of the right side of his body and major cognitive damage, including loss of speech.

After a month in hospital, doctors were unable to do anything about the paralysis or the patient’s other disabilities. The family referred him to a rehabilitation center, where he was able to learn to dress himself again, to eat and to move around in a wheelchair on his own. However, at the cognitive level there was no improvement.

In 2019, Lucie learns about the use of stem cells in the treatment of ischemic stroke patients, with significant improvement in both physical and cognitive conditions. In particular, the use of stem cells extracted from umbilical cord blood and tissue showed great promise for these patients, as the cells are very young and ductile.

The man underwent a first cell therapy with umbilical cord stem cells obtained from a matched donor: hematopoietic cells from cord blood and mesenchymal cells from cord tissue were administered to the patient by both intravenous infusion and intrathecal injection into the spinal canal.

The procedure was successful and resulted in important improvements in both motor and cognitive skills: the patient was able to walk without support and articulate better during speech therapy sessions.

At the end of 2019, at the time of the birth of her baby girl, Lucie decided to store her daughter’s umbilical cord stem cells, to use them for a second treatment of the new grandfather. Fortunately, grandfather and granddaughter proved to be compatible and the patient was able to undergo a second cell therapy. Today, Lucie’s father can take care of his granddaughter and be her grandfather, sharing an even more special bond with her.

In Switzerland, around 16,000 people suffer an ischemic stroke or brain hemorrhage every year. 25% of the patients suffer permanent disability and one in four do not survive.

Find out now how to bank your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells with Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science: contact us here.