Stem Cell Therapy Repairs Heart Attack Damage

I am bringing to your attention an article that recently appeared in the Miami Herald. It’s important because it sheds a brighter light on the amazing benefits of stem cell therapy. In this case, above and beyond the remarkable results we are currently achieving at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists using stem cell therapy to restore and repair the damage from conditions such as degenerative disc disease, desiccated discs, spinal stenosis, facet arthrosis, sacroiliac joint syndrome, osteoarthritis of any joint, and sports or overuse injuries.

Healing the Heart

The Miami Herald described Noel Zuniga as living proof that stem cell therapy can also repair damaged heart muscle. Two years ago, at age 42, Zuniga barely survived what cardiologists call a “widow maker” heart attack, a complete blockage of a major coronary artery. Few expected him to recover this well without a heart transplant.

But last year, when he could hardly run and felt fatigued just walking in the mall with his wife, Zuniga enrolled in a clinical study at the University of Miami Health System’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute.

UHealth doctors had saved his life in 2013 – shipping off at a moment’s notice to Panama (where Zuniga was an NCIS agent at the U.S. Embassy) to implant a special catheter with a pump into his heart, staving off massive organ failure after the heart attack. Now they held out the hope of helping Zuniga’s heart recover much of the function it had lost.

In short, said Joshua Hare, a physician and director of the UHealth stem cell institute, “He was left with a big scar on the front wall of his heart.’’ His outlook for the future was not very bright.

Hare said the scar threatened to cause Zuniga’s heart to “remodel” its shape from one resembling a football to one that looks more like a basketball, which then causes congestive heart failure and a condition called sudden cardiac death. “There’s nothing we have available in all of medicine to fix that,’’ he said, “other than a heart transplant.”

In June 2014, as part of the clinical study, UHealth doctors injected human stem cells from a donor’s bone marrow directly into the scar tissue of Zuniga’s heart. Within about two months, Zuniga said, “I felt a huge difference, and then it just started getting better and better and better, month after month after month.”

“It’s as if nothing ever happened,” said Zuniga, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent who was in charge of the U.S. Embassy in Panama when he suffered the heart attack.

Zuniga says that human stem cell therapy has improved the quality of his life. He has pushed himself hard in the gym. “I wanted to put these stem cells to the test,’’ he said, “to see if they worked.” And he has high hopes for the future of regenerative medicine. “I think there will come a time in the future,” he said, “where you will rarely hear of someone getting a heart transplant.”

The Zunigas said they want others to hear their story, especially about the power of stem cell therapy to restore damaged tissue. Stem cells – cells with the ability to divide into many different cell types – are influenced by their immediate environment, which determines how they will grow.

The doctors at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists also want you to know that stem cell therapy is currently available to restore and repair an array of injuries and conditions.

Contact our offices to learn which stem cell procedures are currently offered at NJPCS to provide relief that can change your life.

At the present time, Stem Cell Therapy is not covered by medical insurance.