Back in U.S.

We are back in our hotel room in San Diego and relaxing after a long day – here’s a play by play of our trip to Mexico:

Someone from the US research institute picked us up around noon at the hotel. He had a nice minivan so transferring the car seat was very quick and easy. We got Casey loaded up and headed for the border, which was only 15 miles away. The trip went quick, and just like last night Casey did great in the car ride, very uncharacteristic for her in a car, but we loved it.

He had the stem cells with him in a little medical cooler, keeping them at -85 degrees until we were ready to inject them. We talked a bit more about the technical details of the cells, and learned that the FDA lab in South Carolina where the cells were cultured recently improved their process and we would be the first to get 2 million cells in one vial (1 milliliter) whereas in the past it has been 1.5 million – we were very excited to hear this.

After getting to the clinic, the doctors and nurses there confirmed that she was too small for an IV, so we went ahead with prepping for an injection into the skin at her waist as expected. The doctors took the vial out of the cooler and even let us hold them for a while to help raise the temperature. Dr Ramirez did the actual injection and it took less than a minute and Casey moved around a little but nothing more than a normal vaccination shot.

As soon as the stem cells are injected, growth hormones may cause some changes, but anything we see in the next couple weeks will be secondary to the stem cells. The cells themselves can take months to graft to the injury site, differentiate into the type of cell needed (i.e neural), and begin functioning.

We stayed at the clinic for about 90 minutes to be sure there were no allergic reactions, and then headed back. The line to get back to United States was longer and lined with t-shirt, blanket, etc vendors. Border patrol didn’t bother too much with us, so we got back to the hotel pretty quick.

Now we are just hanging out in the hotel room and relaxing, and will probably head back to Santa Monica in the morning. Casey seems exhausted from the trip so far and is being an angel hanging out on the king sized bed watching TV with us. We also brought her couch cushion that she loves to snuggle on, so that is helping.

Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers – after a lot of preparation, Casey finally has her first stem cell injection. We will make sure to keep everyone posted as we see changes!
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