One family in Tamarac has been undergoing an amazing family journey due to their son being diagnosed with autism at an early age. Donald and Marty Kelley, who spend summers in Maine and winters in Florida along with their children Philip 12, Kenneth 9, and Caroline-Grace 4, have undergone such inconceivable challenges with their autistic son Kenneth, that few families could survive intact.
At the age of six, Kenneth had the vocabulary of a four-year old. He could talk, but it was difficult for strangers to understand him. According to his mom Marty, he was aggressive, loud and obnoxious. “Kenneth would scream very loudly and would scream from morning until night, thinking it was funny and enjoying it. When we would respond negatively, he would scream even louder.” Kenneth would also demand attention, jump on furniture, throw things, crawl on the floor, get under furniture, get under the seats on the school bus and would take off his clothes. “It was very hard to dress him because he screamed so loud. This was so painful that my husband and I had headaches everyday from his screaming. We also had to wrestle him to get him dressed and chase him throughout dressing him, as he bolted out the door every 5-10 seconds.” During this time, Ken was unable to potty train which added more challenges for the Kelley’s.
It was around this time that Kenneth started receiving treatments in a Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, after the Kelley’s bought one for the house and received training on it. “Ken could not really talk before the treatments nor could he write. This treatment really calms his temper,” says Marty. “When we started with the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, the screaming would get less and less to only 1 1/2 hours in the morning, then again for 1 1/2 hours at night.”
“The Hyperbaric Treatments really took away the hardest of the behaviors like running into the mall naked, jumping up on the displays and throwing clothes and other objects at people while screaming. This was both very funny, yet very sad,” said Marty.
Marty also changed Ken’s diet to a Specific Carbohydrate Diet, where processed foods are not used. “He eats only vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, and honey as the sweetener and no potatoes, corn, or rice just fresh foods.” Marty says that if Ken eats anything off the diet, he will change within 10 minutes and show behaviors such as aggression, fighting, yelling, jumping, hyperactivity, loudness and lack of control. “Seriously, if anyone wants to see this happen, just let us know and we will feed him a cookie. It is so weird,” says Marty.
Last August, the family traveled to Costa Rica where Ken received a Stem Cell Infusion. Marty stresses that the stem cell infusion, “Is not the kind from embryonic stem cells. The one Ken had uses donated umbilical cord stem cells.” The Kelley’s loved the doctors in Costa Rica. “Most of the doctors and the people setting up the protocol are all trained in the United States,” adds Marty.
There have been over 700 clinical trials in the US with adult stem cells. None of these trials have been for autism, but they have had success with other diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy and many others.
“Adult stem cells (the one Ken had) differ from embryonic stem cells in the way that they will go into the body and have the potential to become any type of cell,” said Marty. “They will seek out areas of damage and heal those. Adult stem cells will grow for a period of time, and then stop growing at around six months. This may cause the patient to plateau and then you may want to have another treatment depending on how far the last one took you.”
“Embryonic stem cells on the other hand, will grow and grow and will not stop growing. They have the potential to become more of the same disease you are trying to treat or they may create new ones, such as cancer, years down the road,” she said. Marty feels that the Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has done a lot for him physically and mentally, but in different ways than the stem cell infusion. She believes that the stem cells have raised his IQ and healed his body.
Just a year ago, 9-year-old Kenneth couldn’t read, but after receiving stem cell therapy, his parents say he reads all the time. “It’s amazing,” says Marty, “he was nowhere near that even in December. He just started a little bit a month ago. He picked up the books and started reading. This is all from stem cells,” says Marty. Also, nine months after his first infusion, Kenneth became fully potty trained which although embarrassing for her to mention, this is an incredible achievement, and another successful result of the stem cell infusion.
The Kelley’s say his sentence structure has improved and he’s more aware of his surroundings. He even remembers birthdays, days of the week and he can tell time. “We’ve just been waiting for the new things and the gains to stop coming and they’re not stopping. They’re coming every day,” says Marty.
Kenneth was the first child in Maine and one of less than 100 children nationwide to receive stem cells as a treatment for autism.
Kenneth is now in 4th grade now and his gains have been remarkable. “Now, we are almost a year after infusion number 2 and Ken’s teacher says if it wasn’t for his speech, he could be on the level of the children around him. He is maybe a year behind in reading and maybe 2 years behind in math,” says Marty.
“As I look back through the years we have suffered with autism I am reminded how we, like many other parents, were left with no hope. We prayed to God for a miracle and felt that if he wanted our son better, he would just do it. It took us years of waiting, but eventually we did come across Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Adult Stem Cells. These treatments have saved our son. This may be the miracle we were praying for.”
Marty tells other parents in her situation, “Please research everything you can for your child and never stop fighting. Maybe there is a miracle, you just have to make it happen!”
The Kelley’s will be going back to Costa Rica for another stem cell treatment soon.
This is an excerpt from Marty Kelley’s Blog “Ken’s Journey To Recovery” Sunday, August 23, 2009:
It took many years and a lot of thinking to figure out what happened to Kenneth. Then it hit me one night–it all made sense–Ken falling off the growth charts, sticking his tongue out to one side, his high mercury levels…That time at the dentist, when Kenneth was six months old. I remember it vividly now, and it haunts me in my sleep. As I write this, I cannot stop the tears from pouring down my face.
Some old cavities had fallen out. Silver amalgam fillings. No big deal. Ken was six months old and nursing. I took him to the dentist with me. She drilled out the old fillings. He slept on the floor in his seat. She drilled my teeth for two hours that day. The mercury was vaporizing and you could smell it in the air. Ken was right there under this, breathing it in his fragile, six month old body. Mercury is much more toxic when it is vaporized. You could eat it and not be harmed like you could be when it is in a gas form. The dentist was kind enough (yeah, right, the stupid fatty fat butt) to let me nurse Kenneth during breaks in the drilling. The next day, I went in for more amalgam drilling. Ken slept again on the floor and nursed during another two-hour procedure.
I tested Kenneth’s mercury when he was 5 1/2 years old. Dr. Neubrander and Dr. Bradstreet had never seen mercury levels this high in any of the autistic kids they have treated at their offices (they treat thousands of kids). 9 was the high reference range and Kenneth’s mercury registered at 95. We thought it would be very important to try to chelate him, to get out some of these metals. But his little body only weighed 29 pounds at this point and we just knew how very sick all of this mercury and other poisons were making him.
After Kenneth was exposed to all of that mercury in the dentist’s office, many changes started happening in my new baby. At his next doctor’s appointment, he had fallen off the growth chart. The pediatrician told me this was nothing to worry about. Kenneth was 7 months old, not gaining weight, not growing and this was nothing to worry about–well, you are the educated DOCTOR, so I had no choice but to stuff my concerns. Just a normal over-cautious mother…
Kenneth also was not able to nurse very well anymore. He would often gasp for air and seemed to have trouble with the suck/swallow reflex. He started letting his mouth hang open and his tongue would rest to one side. He seemed weaker, not able to pull himself up on furniture like he use to or crawl around as well. His babbling never progressed. He developed a weird spitting noise with his lips (like a raspberry?) and he would make this noise all day. This lasted months.
Soon Kenneth’s first birthday came and went. I looked at my baby, very tiny, not growing. He was no closer to walking or talking. Our pediatrician thought this was all okay. We went to another one. Still okay. Another. Okay. Finally, we found Dr. Clough. He listened to us and sort of helped. By this time, Kenneth was 18 months old. He had started walking a little. No talking…
- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk and Parkland Talk.
Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac.
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