I wanted to be upbeat this week, but this story just plain pisses me off. And I hope you’ll feel the same way.
Michael Martinez, the jockey paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a spill at Golden Gate Fields on Sept. 12, has been declined as a candidate for embryonic stem-cell treatments.
The decision was made by Northwestern U’s Richard Fessler. Maybe it had to do with this:
The decision came after a day in which Martinez was to be transferred from Highland Hospital in Oakland to UCSF for an MRI exam, but the transfer was called off when the state Division of worker’s comp refused to authorize it.
“The doctors at Highland weren’t entirely in favor of the transfer and in an e-mail to Dr. Fessler they indicated that they thought that Michael was doubtful as a candidate for the embryonic stem-cell treatments,” said Golden Gate Fields physician Dr. David Seftel, who is advising Martinez’s family on his care.
“The family is devastated, but we’re regrouping. I don’t give up; Michael doesn’t give up.”
And I won’t give up hope either, for Michael.
Seftel has contacted Dr. Jorge Paz Rodriguez, the medical director of the Stem Cell Institute of Panama, Michael’s native country – regarding adult stem-cell therapy.
“The benefits of adult stem-cell treatments have been relatively modest, confined to improvement in sensation, bladder control and bowel control,” Seftel said. “But because it is so soon after the injury, it is possible Michael could get some of his motor control back. The sooner we get him to Panama, the better.”
I’ll keep you all posted on his progress.
A little prayer or two wouldn’t hurt.