Injured SLV resident headed to Thailand for stem cell treatment
May 31, 2013 | 1054 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jerry MacCallister
Jerry MacCallister
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In a little more than a month’s time, a paralyzed Boulder Creek man will be on his way to Thailand, where he will undergo a cutting-edge stem cell treatment that he and his family hope will help him regain some of his independence.

For Jerry MacCallister and his family, the past 4 years have been a series of physical therapy and doctor’s visits following a January 2009 dirt bike crash in the Hollister hills that left the now-23-year-old unable to walk or move his arms.

Now, the family is reaching out to the community to raise the $10,000 in funds needed for Jerry to undergo a rigorous month-long regimen of stem cell injections and therapy at China-based Bieke Biotechnology’s treatment facility in Bangkok, Thailand.

“This is something we’ve desperately wanted to do for Jerry,” said Katie MacCallister, Jerry’s mother.

According to Katie MacCallister, 3 years of intensive physical therapy following his accident had allowed Jerry to regain some usage of his upper arms before he suffered a major setback in April 2012. At that time a 107-degree fever brought on by a bout of autonomic dysreflexia-incurred brain damage.

She said that Jerry had been a candidate for Bieke’s program before the setback at one of the company’s facilities in China, but a combination of financial and family issues had shelved that plan.

However, after Jerry’s brain injury undid the progress he had made in physical therapy, his mother said, the stem cell program looked to be his best shot at any degree of recovery, and so, Jerry was re-enrolled in the program.

“After Jerry’s brain injury it was just more apparent than ever that we need to make this happen for him,” Katie MacCallister said.

From July 1 to Aug. 9 Jerry will undergo rigorous stem cell treatments for both his brain damage and his original spinal injury.

“He’ll have eight stem cell injections and he’ll have physical therapy, occupational therapy, aquatic therapy and acupuncture 5-days-a-week,” Katie MacCallister said. “With this type of therapy there are no guarantees, but the company has had some success.”

She said that the ideal outcome for the treatment was to allow Jerry to regain the usage of his arms enough to feed himself and to operate his electric wheelchair.

Katie MacCallister said that the family is roughly halfway toward the $10,000 goal to cover the costs of Jerry’s treatment, as well as the costs of transportation to Thailand.

To support the MacCallisters, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser event has been scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at the Boulder Creek Fire Station, 13230 Highway 9 in Boulder Creek.

“We’ve been planning (the trip to Thailand) for 3 months,” Katie MacCallister said. “I feel confident that we’ll meet the goal in order to go.”

For more information on Jerry MacCallister and to make a donation, visit http://followingjerry.com.

 

If you go:

What: Spaghetti feed to support Jerry MacCallister

When: Saturday, June 8, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Where: Boulder Creek Fire Protection District, 13230 Highway 9 in Boulder Creek

Cost: $15 for adults; $6 for kids

Info: RSVP at 338-3169 or at rsvp@followingjerry.com

To comment, email reporter Joe Shreve at joe@pressbanner.com, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.

 

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