Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

May 30, 2012

Stem cell treatment regrows Georgia man’s foot

DALTON, Ga. -- By the time Dr. Spencer Misner had carved away the dead and diseased flesh from Bobby Rice’s right foot last year, little remained other than bones and tendons.

“I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t look real. It looked like something out of a movie,” recalled Rice.

Today, the ankle has almost healed. It looks like Rice had simply scraped it. And Rice’s foot has largely healed, too. Misner credits cutting-edge stem cell treatments for saving Rice’s foot and leg.

Rice, who has diabetes, stepped on a piece of glass last fall and his foot quickly became infected. After trying a home remedy, Rice went to the hospital emergency room where doctors found he had a rapidly spreading necrotizing fasciitis, or in layman’s terms, flesh-eating bacteria.

Physicians treated the infection with antibiotics. However, Rice had one toe amputated. Doctors had to strip away much of the flesh from Rice’s foot and a great deal of flesh along his ankle.

“We did what we had to do,” Misner said. “We got the infection out. We saved his life. But what do you do next? We’d normally say all you can do now is cut of his leg so he can get on with his life.”

But Misner had another idea. He contacted Ed Fickey, a sales representative for Osiris Therapeutics, and asked about using the company’s new stem cell technologies to rebuild the foot and ankle.

Stem cells can grow and differentiate into many different types of cells. Stem cell treatments introduce these cells into damaged or diseased organs to repair them.

“The problem is that Bobby is an indigent patient and didn’t have the financial resources. Ed spoke to the company, and they agreed to donate the products for free,” Misner said.

Text Only
Sister Newspapers' News
Sister Newspaper Columns
AP Editor's Picks Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
National and World