By Carly O'Keefe
HOYLETON, IL (KFVS) - There's a lot of debate surrounding stem cell research, but a Washington County man says certain types of stem cell treatments do work and shouldn't be controversial.
The type that has everyone talking is embryonic stem cell research. Chuck Melton of Hoyleton suffered a debilitating spinal injury back in 2002, and has since undergone umbilical cord stem cell treatments in China using cells from umbilical cords donated to research after a baby is born. Melton says he's seen small improvements following his first treatment; for instance, his spinal injury limited his body's ability to sweat, but after the stem cell injections, that changed.
"Before I went, I couldn't even go outside the house if it was more than 85 degrees outside, because I would pass out from heat exhaustion," Melton said. "So that little bit of sweating has enabled me to go and enjoy my kids soccer games, baseball games and what have you, so that's a blessing right there."
Melton doesn't expect to walk after his second trip to China in May. He's just hoping for more signs of improvement, and maybe, just maybe--someday, a miracle.
"Ultimately I would love to one day stand and walk my daughters down the aisle, but I'm also trying to be realistic because that's a very long ways away," he said. "I don't expect going back to have the ability to walk, it might not happen, but if I continue to go back, 6-7 times and continue to show small improvements, that'll be great, and hopefully I can pursue treatments someday here in the states."