I am a physician specializing in peripheral vascular surgery. I’m a 61 year-old Brazilian, from Recife in the state of Pernambuco, and I have a diagnosed case of MS. I am happily married for 40 years with a son, a daughter and a granddaughter. I was diagnosed with MS approximately 20 years ago as a result of diplopia, symptoms of double vision, which is often one of the first presentations of MS. Over time, I have used medications including solu-medrol, Interferon and lastly Tysabri. As my mobility decreased over time, for the past 4 years I have needed a wheelchair and I would estimate that my disability rating would be about 7.5 EDSS.
As a physician, I have followed the publications regarding my illness and after making wide searches for treatment possibilities and contacting various services, both nationally and internationally, I chose the therapeutic research program at CCSVI Clinic where they perform Combination of the venoplasty and stem cell implants. During this period of research I contacted several services and other patients who had been treated in India with this novel therapy.
Then I contacted researchers at Regenetek Research including Dr. Doug Broeska who gave me all the information on the Combination Therapy protocol that I requested, as well as all the necessary guidelines for the performance of the proposed treatment. I was worried that India would be quite different than Brazil as far as developed services, but at the same time I believed that the medical professionals of that country had both the technical expertise and the passion for what they did, and I found this to be the case.
I was also aware that the Indian culture, its language and social differences and the food could be a perceived obstacle that I would face. About the food at the clinic, there is an American cuisine menu available as well as Indian cuisine. Since some foods were exotic and spicy, my husband chose to buy special foods in an Indian grocery.
Upon treatment, I closely watched all of the medical techniques practiced on me and will say that it was adequately described in the protocols with a need to define some of these to the junior nursing staff probably because this protocol is new. I reported to the doctor, the issues that I had seen. I understand that these minor differences have been corrected, but as a vascular specialist, I would notice much more than the average patient. CCSVI Clinic also graciously provided a Portuguese translator for me as part of the service and Dr. Malik was constantly by my side, helping with all difficulties and listening carefully to the suggestions that I believe have been implemented in the hospital setting. I was happy to be able to contribute, but overall I found the clinicians’ knowledge of MS and their operational skills and experience were superb.
I was hospitalized for 15 days in residence, accompanied by my husband. The multiple procedure protocol for the combination therapy happened over those two weeks starting on February 19th with the aspiration of bone marrow from which the stem cells are taken. Venoplasty with dilatation of the jugular, using a catheter and balloon with the infusion of stem cells was carried out the following day. I understand why this must be done together and I believe that this is an important advancement of the venoplasty procedure. Five days later I had the lumbar puncture with the infusion of the autologous mesenchymal stem cells expanded in the lab. During the venoplasty procedure (which in my opinion would have the most risk), it was proven to me that the experience and the qualification of the doctors who performed the procedure were excellent. During the whole hospital stay, I had physiotherapy sessions and I have continued those physiotherapy assignments at home and even increased the number of sessions when I returned.
Throughout the whole treatment received at the hospital, as well as the treatment received from Doctors Alurkar, Mazumdar, Malik, Nabila, and the other doctors and clinicians, I had no complications or any incident. The treatment provided by the medical team demonstrated their technical qualifications. Everything that was required was performed and I thank all the doctors and nursing staff who attended me during this period.
Since my return home to Recife, I have been in contact with Regenetek researchers at regular intervals to follow my progress and I confirm that I am being followed in a patient case study as I committed to. I am happy to say that I am off all of my meds, and that I have been able to increase my daily time in physiotherapy. Because my disease has left me with significant disability, I know that recovery will take time but I do not believe that I have had an attack of my disease since my therapies. I would be happy to confirm this personally through a translator if anyone wants to know more. I believe that the combination therapy is a significant improvement over the single venoplasty procedure and I am hopeful of returned health over time.
I would encourage anyone including physicians wishing confirmation of the validity of this therapeutic protocol to contact me at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Maria Cristina Coutinho Vilaça, MD
Recife, June 13th, 2013