An acid attack damaged left her disfigured and damaged her left eye. Now, thanks to a pioneering stem-cell surgery, her sight is being restored slowly. Television presenter and aspiring model Katie Piper, 29, suffered third degree burns and had to have hundreds of surgeries to reconstruct her face after an acid attack in 2008.
In the years following her attack, she fought against the odds to take her face and her life back, undergoing surgeries, intensive therapy, wearing a special plastic pressure mask 23 hours a day to stretch scar tissue—and even putting up The Katie Piper Foundation, a charity to help people live with scars and burns.
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Stem cell treatments in demand among athletes — is this cheating? Stem cell therapy is starting to find a market in sports medicine. In fact, it is next only to the wildly popular platelet-rich plasma therapies. Elite athletes, like Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon, who seek quick fixes to injuries in order to return competition may think they’re helping advance these advanced stem cell treatment options.
But they may also be courting danger, not only for themselves, but for many people who look up to them as icons and who see anything they do as tacit endorsements.
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“The skepticism of reason and the optimism of will.” That’s what Argentina’s socialist politician Jorge Rivas — probably the world’s only quadriplegic legislator — says of the breakthrough surgery he underwent in Cuba last year that’s allowed him to slowly regain some of his faculties.
The stem cell procedure, together with sophisticated computer software to communicate similar to that used by Stephen Hawking, have allowed him to go on working as one of Argentina’s national deputies and to run for—and win—a bid for reelection last year.
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