Stem Cell Treatment Doing Wonders For Autistic Glenburn Boy

Rob Poindexter

Updated 4 years ago

Last year, we told you about a 9-year-old autistic boy from Glenburn who traveled to Costa Rica for an unusual treatment. His family says he’s made remarkable progress.A year ago, 9-year-old Kenneth Kelley couldn’t read. Prior to the age of 7, Kenneth couldn’t even talk. He was diagnosed with autism at an early age. Now his parents say he reads all the time. “It’s amazing,” says Marty Kelley, Kenneth’s mother, “he was no where near that even in December. He just started a little bit a month ago. He picked up the books and started reading.”Kenneth’s road to recovery began three years ago, when his parents started him on hyberbaric oxygen therapy. Last August, they traveled to Costa Rica where Kenneth received stem cells from umbilical cord blood. It wasn’t long after the procedure the Kelley’s noticed a difference in Kenneth. “Immediately, we noticed within that two or three day time frame,” says his father Donald Kelley. His parents say his sentence structure has improved and he’s more aware of his surroundings. He even remembers birthdays, days of the week and he can tell time. “We’ve just been waiting for the new things and the gains to stop coming and they’re not stopping. They’re coming every day,” says Marty Kelley.Kenneth was the first child in Maine, and one of of less than a hundred nationwide, to receive the umbilical cord blood as a treatment for autism. But that didn’t scare the Kelleys. “We were excited for his future and we were scared of a life for him without stem cells and what the future would hold with just autism and no hope,” says Marty Kelley.The family is heading to Central America for another round of the same treatment. They’re hoping the improvements they’ve seen are just the beginning. “It looks like the sky’s the limit,” she says, “especially with the reading, I never thought I’d see it happen. He’s also doing simple math problems. His teachers who hadn’t seen him in a year said he had improved tremendously.”If you’d like to follow Kenneth’s progress, you can log onto the family’s blog. http://www.kensjourneytorecovery.blogspot.com/


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