Seeing results from stem cell treatment

Christine Wood/Photo

Alison Johnstone kisses and hugs her grandson Rylan who is showing signs of improvement after receiving stem cell treatments in China last month.

Christine Wood/Staff Writer

Since returning home from having stem cell treatments in China last month, five-year-old Rylan Johnstone has taken his first unaided steps, given his first hug, spoken his first complete sentence and shown his first reaction to light much to the delight of his family.

We are absolutely overjoyed with the changes weve noticed already, said Rylans grandma Alison. Even if thats all that happens, it was definitely worth it to go, but I think there are more changes to come.

The family spent nearly a year fundraising more than $34,000 for the trip to China to have the stem cell treatments done in the hope that Rylan, who is blind and autistic, would gain some sight and mobility and benefit from reduced autism symptoms.

It seems much of that wish list has come true just weeks after returning from China, and the stem cells will keep working, Alison said.

The stem cell injections in his eyes should keep working for at least six months, she said, noting one report from a parent showed a child gaining sight a year after the stem cell treatments.

Rylan seems to squint now when a bright light is put before him, and although he cant communicate whats happening, the Johnstones are hopeful hell show more signs of sight in the weeks to come.

One of the best moments for Alison was when she got her first hug from her grandson, shortly after returning home.

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Seeing results from stem cell treatment