Adult Stem Cells Treat Spinal Cord Injury
(February 2018) Laura Dominguez-Tauer is a living, breathing example of what it takes to overcome adversity. An oil spill on a San Antonio freeway is blamed for the car crash that sent Laura and her brother directly into a retaining wall in 2001. As she lay tangled in the middle of the car, she heard a paramedic say, “get a neck brace, she has a broken neck.”
“I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t move my hands”
“I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t move my hands,”
Laura was paralyzed from the neck down. “I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t move my hands,” Laura said.
While others might have given up, Laura and her family started immediately searching for answers. They learned about adult stem cells and the promising results for spinal cord injury patients. In 2010, Laura joined a handful of other spinal cord patients and received an adult stem cell transplant. The transplant was a success.
Laura says, “Before the stem cell procedure, I wasn’t able to move very much. And then after the procedure I’m able to get up. I’m able to stand and walk around a little bit with help. The stem cell procedure made my upper body a lot stronger. I can feel my entire body now.”
Laura went to work making herself stronger. Through physical therapy and a lot of hard work, she grew stronger and stronger. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she opened a gym called Beyond the Chair. “We opened Beyond the Chair to help people with any type of neurological disability whether it’s spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, strokes. We don’t turn anybody away. We’re going to help people.”
“The stem cell procedure made my upper body a lot stronger. I can feel my entire body now.”
In 2010, she met a young man, fell in love and was married. Then came a big surprise. “I found out I was pregnant in April of 2016 and I was in disbelief, says Laura. We heard his heartbeat for the first time, and it was kind of like, oh my gosh, this is such a dream come true, it’s a miracle.”
Young Joshua, named after his father, is what Laura is focused on now. She still helps run Beyond the Chair, but her days are mostly spent being a mom – and promoting adult stem cell research.
Says Laura, “a lot of people ask me about my experience with stem cells. I always tell them that at the end of the day the decision is up to them. But I promote them, I believe in them, I experienced it.”
“I think having the adult stem cell procedure was the best decision that I’ve ever made. I think that it’s been very beneficial, it’s helped me out so much,” Laura said. “My hope is that I can help other people and encourage other people. And spread the word about adult stem cells.”