Stem Cells Save Man's Life

September 15, 2014

Saving a Heart

In October of 2008, 31 year old Edgar Irastorza's heart stopped beating. An otherwise healthy and active man, he began gaining weight. One day at work, he experienced a shortness of breath and had his coworkers take him to the hospital.

Irastorza survived his heart attack, but the scar tissue cut down his heart's ability to pump by one-third. This left him unable to pick up his three children, dance, and with the fear that he would not wake up the next morning.

There was one cure for Irastorza, but it was very risky because the treatment was still being researched. Despite the risks, he volunteered to be apart of the medical trial being conducted by the University of Miami. The trial required the doctors to inject stem cells into Irastorza's heart. There is a lot of controversy behind inject stem cells into a person as to whether it works or not, but if it does, it can potentially save someone's life.

The stem cells that the researchers used came from Irastorza's bone marrow. They took the stem cells from his bone marrow and used a catheter to inject it them his heart. Today, Irastorza's heart is one-third of the way back to normal, and he is already able to do all of the activities that he loves again. This is a small step in the process of stem cell research, but it may lead to even greater advances in this technology.