Michael Delaney, 21 years, Spinal Cord Injury

Residence: Whangarei, New Zealand

Story by: Allan and Ellan Delaney (parents)

The Accident

In late December 2007 Michael broke the adontoid peg off C2 and damaged C3 and C5 in a swimming accident. He lay face down in the water because he was paralysed and when he was pulled from the water unconscious, the paramedic resuscitated him. He gradually regained movement down his left side but was totally paralysed down his right side and had limited sensation/feeling down his left side.

He had an operation in which a screw was put in place to secure the peg in C2, however after six weeks this was not successful and so he wore a halo for 3 months in an attempt to mend the bones. This too was unsuccessful and in late May he had another operation, which fused C 1 and C 2 and eventually, in October, his spine was finally stabilised and he could finally begin intensive exercise. However his spinal cord was damaged and very slowly, he has regained movement down his right side.

New Zealand News 3 -Watch TV News Report

First Stem Cell Treatment

"...stem cell treatment, ...helped him to almost gain full recovery."

In April, Michael travelled with his family from New Zealand to Germany, where he had his first stem cell treatment. After this treatment, when he returned home, he continued to work with a physiotherapist 3 times a week and at the gym for at least 2 hours a day. Before this treatment his development had slowed right up even with all the exercise, but by June after the stem cell treatment, he had gained more dexterity in his hand. Before the treatment, he was barely able to write and sign his name but by July, he was able to write his own lecture notes at University. He was now able to throw and catch a ball and began to develop a running technique on the treadmill and began to play darts.

Second Stem Cell Treatment

In December, he returned with his family to theclinic for his second stem cell treatment. Since this treatment, he is slowly improving his running technique and is now able to bowl over-arm (as in a cricket game) and play tennis. He can balance on his right leg for at least 5 minutes. Before his treatment, he could only do 30 seconds.

Michael's Message on Recovery and Stem Cell Therapy

Before the accident, Michael was a very talented hockey player. He was playing for the New Zealand Junior Black Sticks and was well known in many parts of New Zealand for his hockey ability and bright future. Since his accident, he along with his family, has been on TV and in the newspapers telling New Zealanders about his journey and how stem cell treatment, along with regular physiotherapy and constant work in the gymnasium, have helped him to almost gain full recovery.

Michael's message is that stem cell treatment is well worthwhile. He had quite serious headaches for about four to five days after the treatment, but in spite of this he knows that a positive attitude, hard work and stem cell treatment have helped him get where he is today.

Start the online Medical Treatment Evaluation