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“We were all surprised”

A good first step, as it would prove to be the first real application of stem cells in a patient:

Hwang Mi-Soon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades ago.

Last week her eyes glistened with tears as she walked again with the help of a walking frame at a press conference where South Korea researchers went public for the first time with the results of their stem-cell therapy.

They said it was the world’s first published case in which a patient with spinal cord injuries had been successfully treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

Though they cautioned that more research was needed and verification from international experts was required, the South Korean researchers said Hwang’s case could signal a leap forward in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.

What makes this more amazing is that the patient was paralyzed for 20 years and could still recover. This is the first case using stem cells that has come to light as producing positive effects, and would be a remarkable acheivement if it can be followed up.

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