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First Australian Child Receives Cord Blood Treatment at Duke University

When 5 year old Australian child, Zac Archer suffered a stroke at 4 months of age, he was left with profound cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

In a twist of fate, Zac’s mum Gabrielle had donated his cord blood to a public blood bank in Australia. Remarkably, it was still in storage when they discovered the possibility of Zac receiving treatment at Duke University in the US, following in the footsteps of two other Kiwi children whose brain injuries were also successfully treated with their stored cord blood.

Zac’s family travelled to the States earlier this year to receive the treatment and are thrilled with his progress. His right side has greatly improved movement, and his seizures – which peaked at a horrifying 100 per day – are down to 20 partial seizures per day.

All Gabrielle ever wanted was for Zac to be happy and find his place in the world. Comparing him to other children with cerebral palsy, she knows he is a highly functional child who can run and talk.

”When we found out about this procedure, the fact that we had his cord blood stored, we just couldn’t overlook it,” she says. ”There’s a possibility this might improve something for Zac. I think any parent would do it. Even if it’s just that slightest improvement, anything is a bonus.” Click here to read the full article as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald.


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