Sunday, September 2, 2007

‘Your Own Stem Cells Work!’: Carron Morrow’s Story

By Chuck Colson

An event planner named Carron Morrow says she had two choices when it came to treating a serious heart condition: Sign liability papers for an unusual new treatment—or drop dead.

Not surprisingly, she chose to sign the papers—and became another stem-cell miracle. An adult stem-cell miracle, that is.

Carron, a 58-year-old Alabama mother, was in bad shape last year after suffering four heart attacks. The right side of her heart was functioning at less than 50 percent. Carron needed a new heart—but 100,000 people were ahead of her on the transplant list.

By fall, she told CitizenLink, “I couldn’t walk 20 feet without being on somebody’s arm.” Her church rallied round her in prayer.

Meanwhile, Carron’s nurse was researching adult stem-cell therapies and discovered a groundbreaking study at the Texas Heart Institute. Researchers agreed to include Carron in the study, which included surgery not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

In October, surgeons removed 500ccs of bone marrow from Carron’s left hip. The cells were cultivated, and four hours later, 30 million stem cells were injected into the right side of Carron’s heart.

Within two months, Carron relates, “I could sing a whole song at church,” and was back at work. Four months later, she had another CT scan to see how her heart was functioning. The news could not have been more—well, heart-stopping.

As Carron put it: “The doctor calls and says, ‘Ma’am, the right side of your heart is normal.’ I was in la-la land for several days.” The procedure cost just $600. Not a bad price for what amounts to a brand-new heart.

When Carron came down to earth, she had a question for her doctor: “I don’t understand,” she said, “why we have this huge political mess going on about stem cells. I’m living proof that adult stem cells work far better than embryonic.” And she adds: “Why should embryonic [stem-cells] even be in the discussion?” Good question.

I’d love to hear her testimony the next time Congress lectures us—that is, debates the morality of funding embryo-destructive stem-cell research. But I’m not holding my breath. Too many members of Congress are too busy calling conservatives and Christians “anti-science.” They’re too busy trying to convince Americans that research involving embryonic stem cells, not adult stem cells, is destined to cure a multitude of diseases—despite the notable lack of success. Why? Because embryonic stem cell research is potentially far more lucrative than research involving adult stem cells.

Meanwhile, the list of people being helped or cured by adult stem cell procedures has become almost too long to keep track of. Medical advances just in the last few months include using adult stem cells from bone marrow to create heart valves. They’ve been used to successfully treat children with juvenile diabetes, and patients with lupus, liver cancer, paralysis, and Parkinson’s. Absolutely remarkable.

Meanwhile, Carron Morrow isn’t waiting to get that call from Congress. She doesn’t need the halls of Congress to tell the world the truth about how adult stem cells saved her life—without destroying anyone else’s. As she put it: “I hope God lets me shout it from the rooftop: ‘Your own stem cells work!’”

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