to try innovative procedure
Bud Poxleitner of Cottonwood as well as his cousin Robert Braucher of Forest are planning to travel to Germany soon for innovative stem cell treatments that they hope will restore some of their mobility, and possibly enable them to move away from their wheelchairs.
If nothing else Poxleitner hopes to be able to lessen or get rid of the pain in his leg.
Poxleitner, 67, was paralyzed from the waist down in a logging accident in 1968. A tree he was cutting struck a second tree and that tree struck Poxleitner. His number 11 vertebra was injured.
Braucher, age 40, was paralyzed in a 2003 automobile accident.
Braucher learned of the treatment from his 18 year old daughter and then told Poxleitner. They eventually decided to travel to Germany together with much hope but no great expectations.
Stem cells used are harvested from the men themselves. The procedure calls for extraction of bone marrow from the hip then stem cells are separated out. They are then put back into the back as close as possible to the spinal cord where the injury happened.
Cost of the procedure in Germany is about $10,500 with travel costs expected to raise the total to in excess of $14,000.
They plan to leave with their daughters on Nov. 21 from Seattle and travel to Cologne, Germany where they will have the procedure done at the XCell-Center, a private clinic for regenerative medicine. The procedure is not yet legal in the United States.
The XCell-Center offers patients with degenerative diseases the opportunity to undergo an “innovative and promising” stem cell treatment. More than 1,600 patients since January 2007 have benefited from this according to their website: http://www.xcell-center.com which also has several patient stories of how the procedure has benefited them.
“It might help me, but it’s not instant,” said Poxleitner. “They said they can’t guarantee anything. It’s just a deal that’s worked on so many people.”
It’s been known to help with the muscle spasms and other problems that go along with paralysis.
Poxleitner further stated that he has had operations that cost over $100,000 just to relieve the pain. Insurance paid for those but won’t pay for this procedure since it’s not legal in the U.S.
The two will arrive in Cologne, go to the clinic for the bone marrow extraction, return to the hospital in a couple of days to receive the injection of stem cells and then stay for observation and care. They expect to be back home after about a week.
There will be a benefit auction this Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Keuterville Hall to help Poxleitner with the expenses of the trip and procedure.
Hand raising refreshments and a preview of the auction items starts at 1 p.m.
Some of the items donated so far are: one night stay at the Canyon House in Whitebird, 1700 Watt Generator, La-Z-Boy recliner, Truckload of Topsoil, Horseshoeing, 034 Stihl Chainsaw, Crosscut Saw, Load of Hay, many more items are coming in.
Donated items will be accepted up until the start of the auction.
For more information please contact Jill Seubert at 962-7085 or Jackie Poxleitner at 983-6489.