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Help Tom Walk Again

$31,250 of $42,000 goal

Raised by 137 people in 4 months
Created July 1, 2018
My name is Maxwell Greggo. At the end of January 2017 my father, Tom, was home recovering from a routine kidney stone operation. Walking back to bed from a midnight bathroom visit he lost consciousness and fell, waking up hours later face down and unable to move. Because my mother was away visiting family and I live out of town, there was no one home to help him or hear him call for help. He laid there for hours, immobilized and alone, unable to answer the phone when messages came in from my mom asking how he was doing and if he was alright. Worried he hadn’t responded, she managed to reach two family friends to go to the house and check up on him and finally, sixteen hours after falling, paramedics were called and he was taken to the hospital.

     It was determined that the fall had caused severe whiplash that resulted in a torn ligament misaligning three vertebrae in his neck and compressing his spinal cord. Emergency surgery stabilized and reinforced his spinal column, but unfortunately even after the surgery he found he was paralyzed with no feeling or control of his body from the shoulders down. After months of intense physical and occupational therapy and more recovery at home he has progressed to the point where he has regained some feeling throughout his body and some control of his shoulders and arms, but still, control of his legs, feet, and hands remains out of reach. He also suffers from constant nerve pain and frequent spasms, common to spinal cord injuries.

     My dad has always been a very active man, always working on his car, fixing things around the house, running his Hi-Fi repair shop, helping his friends out with their projects, and helping me out countless times when I found myself in a jam and didn’t have the mechanical experience to handle it. His days now consist of him lying in bed, or at best being put into his manual wheelchair, and passively watching TV or listening to music. He needs constant 24 hour support to perform even basic tasks like eating.

     Tom has recently been approved by The Stem Cell Institute, a world leader in their field of stem cell research and therapy, for treatment in August in Panama City, Panama. Unfortunately, this treatment isn’t yet available in the United States and requires travelling abroad. Scans taken before and after the injury as well as months into his recovery show that his spinal cord wasn’t torn or severed, only bruised and swollen. These scans were reviewed by the institute’s team of doctors before accepting him. The stem cells they use will be collected from Tom’s bone marrow and obtained from umbilical cord and placental tissue donated by mothers after normal births. The Stem Cell Institute has had success in treating similar injuries, and when performed within two years of the original trauma they show an 83% chance of significant recovery.

     The initial treatment costs $37,200 and so far we estimate that we’ll need $5,000 for travel for my dad and mother along with specialized accessible medical equipment and supplies. Tom’s medical care and has put extreme financial and personal strain on our family simply maintaining the status quo. We need help. Unfortunately his insurance will not cover this treatment.

     I would like to personally express my gratitude for your consideration, and especially for the wonderful help and support already given by so many of Dad’s friends and family.

Thank you.

Max
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Message from my folks:

Hello Friends!

The stem cell treatment is going well. Tom has had one IV treatment and 4 IT (intrathecal / spinal cord) treatments. This week they did the procedure to extract Tom's bone marrow from his hip bone. Procedure went well. They will process the bone marrow to extract the stem cells. These will be given back to Tom the last week we are here.
Tom is feeling ok. The nerve pain in his arms has sometimes been severe, but otherwise feeling ok. Already half way through treatment! Two more weeks to go.

The clinic is impressive and the doctors and nurses are wonderful.

Thank you all once again for making it possible for us to come here.

Your friends,

Tom and Millie
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Mesaage from my parents. They're going back to Panama!

Dear Friends,

We are happy to report that Tom's blood sugar level is very good and stable and within the required range to return to Panama! We are leaving on October 27 and will return home on November 27. We will be having Halloween and Thanksgiving in Panama!

Tom received one IV stem cell treatment when we were there in August. The doctor said that as a side benefit, the stem cells could improve the psoriasis that Tom has had on his knees for the last few years. It is now almost completely gone! The stem cells are working!

Treatments will resume on October 29.

We will keep the updates coming as things progress.

Our deepest thanks to you all for making this possible!

Your friends,
Tom and Millie
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Message from Dad:

Dear friends,

As some of you many have heard we are back from Panama early. We had a setback due to high blood sugar levels that weren’t found to be out of the safe range in the most recent tests that were run before we left. The doctors at the stem cell clinic discovered this during their initial workup and felt it was too dangerous to proceed with the spinal injections due to risk of infection. I did get to have one treatment of IV stem cells that went well.

So we’re back in St. Petersburg to work with my doctor to bring my blood sugar levels back in line. The levels have already significantly decreased and we expect in another week or so that the levels will be low enough to make plans to go back in October or early November.

The treatment was paid was paid for last month before we left and the director of the Stem Cell Institute is holding our place in line and we will pick up where we left off when we get back.

It’s a disappointing setback, but just a temporary one. We’re going back and will keep all of you in the loop as that develops. Millie and I thank you for all of your help and support and hopefully we’ll have some great news very soon.

-Tom
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Hey everybody!

They're there! My folks are in Panama now and have settled in. They ran some preliminary tests yesterday and will be starting the full treatment and therapy soon.

They're having some trouble getting their phones to work with the hotel Wi-Fi, but they were able to get another device on so if anybody would like to reach them their email and Google Hangouts is working. They have a travel router that has a good shot of getting their phones online too if they can get that set up.

Anyway, thanks everybody! This is happening because of you. I'll be trying to keep the updates coming as cool things happen.

-Max
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$31,250 of $42,000 goal

Raised by 137 people in 4 months
Created July 1, 2018
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