Arteries, stem cells
7 Healthcast: Arteries, stem cells
Richard has heart disease and lives with constant pain.
He's had bypass surgery and has tried to improve his diet and exercise more, but he's up against a strong family history of heart problems.
"My mother had a bypass, my dad died of it. My aunt died of it, my sister had a heart attack," Karasik said.
So for the past three years, Richard has been researching stem cell procedures that might help him.
He found one in Bangkok and is now headed there to undergo a rare stem cell procedure that will help him grow new arteries.
"They'll draw blood, spin it down, get the stem cells out and then re-inject it into a site of my heart which will stimulate the growth of new arteries in the heart," Karasik said.
A procedure he could not get here in the U.S.
Still, he's not worried about it being too experimental.
"I don't feel based on their track record that I'm a guinea pig," Karasik said. "I wish western medicine would take a lot more note of it."
If the stem cell procedure were offered here in the U.S., Richard wouldn't have to pay 48,000 dollars for it.
But he says it will all be worth it if he can return to the states with new arteries and less pain.(Copyright 2007 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)