For Holliston teen, medical miracle or doctor fraud?

The treatment is experimental, not approved in the United States. Medical experts call it a scam. They call its overseas practitioners frauds.

A Holliston family knows all this. But they say stem cell treatment helped their daughter once and they believe it could again.

The Ghelli family, whose daughter Jona has cerebral palsy, is raising money for a second trip to Germany for an experimental stem cell treatment.

Many medical experts in the United States caution against the procedure.

A lot of families end up spending a lot of their own private money for something that we dont even know if it works, said Dr. Elizabeth Barkoudah, instructor of neurology in the Neurology Department at Childrens Hospital in Boston.

Jona Ghelli underwent the procedure at the XCell-Center in Dusseldorf, Germany, in October 2010 and her family calls the results miraculous.

With Jona, we saw them within hours, said her mother, Joanne.

Jona, 17, has suffered since birth from cerebral palsy and microcephaly. She has cognitive and physical impairments and struggles to perform simple tasks such as brushing her teeth.

Just two days after the treatment, which Joanne Ghelli said was performed in a clinic inside a hospital, Jonas hand relaxed. Normally it is rigid and extended.

For us, just to see a mild difference is huge, she said.

For Holliston teen, medical miracle or doctor fraud?

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