My name is Laura Weigel
and this is my son, William Weigel’s story
Our twin babies were miracles. Will and Katie Weigel. We were still in shock that we actually had them after going through 5 In-Vitro fertilization treatments. In 2008 we were giving thanks on Christmas night for being blessed with healthy twin babies. To top it off, we were celebrating the fact we were expecting another miracle baby! Life was wonderful and we wanted to relish in the moment.
The day after Christmas
Will and Katie went down for their naps. Katie awoke from her nap while Will appeared to be sleeping. After an hour had passed Will was still not awake from his nap. The next thing I knew I saw my sister standing at the top of the stairs screaming that Will was not breathing. My sister Lesley immediately started CPR while I quickly drove him to the hospital. While in the ER, Will’s stomach was pumped.
The Doctor found that he had ingested at least one blood pressure pill that a guest visiting had dropped. He must have taken the pill right before his nap which is why we had no idea that he was struggling to breathe. We believe the pill caused him to vomit and he aspirated while sleeping which caused the limited oxygen supply. Will was in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for over a week. He was in a drug-induced coma for 5 long days.
We were so hopeful that when he was taken off the ventilator he would be fine. After all, his CAT scan and MRI came back normal. Much to our horror, when Will was taken off the Ventilator he showed no response to his environment or us. His eyes were open but we were unable to distinguish what he was looking at. He did not respond to me, his father Mike, or Grandmother. He only screamed and cried. Will was unable to swallow his food so a surgery was performed to place a feeding tube into his stomach. He was then transferred to LA Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center where we stayed for 6 weeks. Will’s Rehabilitation doctor wanted to see him make purposeful movements. But he appeared to be in a waking coma. Much to our horror, Will’s second MRI was abnormal.
Now Will is severely disabled, presenting as a child with severe Cerebral Palsy. He was unable to sit up by himself, move, eat, or even see. We found out that he has Cortical Visual Impairment, excessive tone preventing him from moving, and he eats through a g-tube. We took him home from the hospital where he was having 30-50 seizures an hour and vomiting up to 9 times a day! This devastated our entire family. We had worked so hard to have healthy babies and it was all taken away in an instant.
Stem Cell Research
The Doctor’s explained that Will suffered from permanent brain damage because too many of his brain cells were destroyed while he was undergoing the distressed breathing. The Doctor’s further explained that our brain cells do not regenerate unlike other cells in our body. I then felt compelled to look into stem cell research. We refused to accept that this was going to be my baby’s future. We found the XCell Center in Germany. The XCell Center is an award winning regenerative medicine research center specializing in cell re-growth. They treat patients with Cerebral Palsy with their own living adult stem cells. Their research suggests that 70% of their patients show improvements. We felt stem cell therapy could really help Will’s future. After the trip to Germany, we felt that the stem cell therapy contributed to his healing and especially by eliminating his seizures!
There are only a few clinics in the United States that are doing stem cell transfers. Will has received two stem cell implants into his spinal fluid via lumbar puncture. Since then we have seen much improvement. Will is no longer having seizures. His constant vomiting has almost completely stopped. He smiles, and reacts to sounds, toys, and our voices. He is getting some of his movement back. Will loves music, to be sung to, and being interacted with.
His therapies have been increased and his therapist describes his sessions as if he having a developmental explosion. Will is now curious about his environment and is participating in therapies. Our goal is to continue Stem Cell Therapy for Will for as many transplants as he may need. Then we would follow up with intensive rehabilitation. We feel so hopeful for his future and have seen an incredible improvement in him since his stem cell treatments.
The Stem Cell Transplants are now being offered in Las Vegas that makes it much easier and cost effective for Will to continue to receive this therapy. He has now received a total of 4 stem cell transfers. The most recent improvements are that Will is now tracking with his eyes and activating some toys with his hands. He is also eating stage-two baby food mixed with rice cereal and cheerios.
We are trying to raise money to continue the Stem Cell Therapy among many other therapies designed to assist Will in the healing process. He is non-verbal and has delayed gross/fine motor skills. As a result Will has participated in conventional (Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Physical Therapy) and alternative therapies. Aside from use of his own Stem Cells, he uses nutritional support (juicing, supplements and smoothies), Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Horse Back Riding, Cranial Sacral Therapy, and Reiki. We have seen incredible results! Our mission is for Will to live an independent and happy life. Thank you for supporting us! Will is an angel sent here to teach us faith, perseverance, compassion, and forgiveness!!!!!
All donations can be made through http://www.emilyspath.org/ and they are tax deductible!