A New Life

Do You Have a Living Will?

In the event of an accident or unexpected medical emergency, a living will protects an individual’s wish to be kept alive on life support or not, and under which circumstances. Most people don’t want to think about it, but the consequences of not having a living will can be devastating. The benefit of this document is that it is legally binds doctors to carry out an individual’s wishes. Furthermore, it alleviates the stress on the individual’s family to make the difficult decision themselves.  


Dr. Travis says that he deals with this heartbreaking issue far too often. He stresses that doctors often cannot carry out the family’s wishes unless they provide the legal documentation to enforce them. The decision to keep a loved one on life support or remove them from it can be heart-wrenching, but a living will can help to ease the burden.


Life-Changing Procedure

Two-year-old Dallas was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. He couldn’t speak, walk, crawl, wave or even smile. Eighteen months later, Dallas underwent an experimental medical procedure at Duke University that changed his life. His parents, Derek and Cynthia, had banked Dallas’ umbilical cord blood at birth, and those cells were injected intravenously into Dallas’ arm in the hopes that they would repair the damage in his brain. Today, Dallas is walking, running and throwing balls!   


“The fog over him just lifted and he became like a little boy,” Derek enthused.


Cerebral palsy is a form of paralysis believed to be caused by a prenatal brain defect or by brain injury during birth. It effects muscular movement and coordination and sometimes involves speech and learning difficulties.


Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. James Baumgartner, a leading expert in non-embryonic stem cell research, explains that there are two theories for how stem cell infusions promote healing. One is that the stem cells are able to find the area of injury and replace missing or damaged cells, and the other is that the stem cells find the general area of affliction and induce healing.


“We just want to give other people hope.” Cynthia implores.


Inspired by Cynthia and Derek’s journey, Jeremie and Machko brought their daughter Hannah, who is also stricken with cerebral palsy, to Duke University for a cord blood infusion. Though Hannah’s results have not been as dramatic as Dallas’, Jeremie and Machko believe they have seen a gradual improvement. Jeremie ventures, “She’s seems to be more aware of her surroundings.”


Dr. Lisa strongly encourages parents to bank their children’s umbilical cord blood and notes, “Over 95 percent of cord blood is just wasted.”  Dr. Lisa explains that cord blood is placental blood cells, which are immature cells that can turn into any other cells in the body, such as organs and tissues, and can heal them.


Ask the Doctors

Beth from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is considering rhinoplasty and asks Dr. Ordon for advice. Dr. Ordon explains that there are two difference types of nose jobs: a closed nose job and an open nose job. A closed nose job offers minimal incisions, but the doctor is partially blind for the procedure. It’s ideal for those who are seeking minimal changes to the shape of their nose. An open nose job “is like flipping open the hood of a car.” Dr. Ordon explains. It allows complete visualization of the tissue and is ideal for patients who would like bigger changes to the overall shape of their nose.


Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Next, Abby, 20, has struggled with unwanted body hair for as long as she can remember. The condition, called Hirutism, is an excess of female body hair. Hirutism can be caused by genetic conditions, a hormonal imbalance or by certain medications.


“I’ve tried everything,” Abby explains, exacerbated. “I’ve shaved, I’ve waxed, I’ve bleached, I’ve bought an at-home electrolysis system, I pluck, I try to cover it up with makeup. But nothing helps and I hate it. It’s a battle that I just can’t win.”


Dr. Ordon explains that hair follicle growth goes through three phases. The first phase is an active growth period that lasts several years and then transitions to a resting period that lasts several weeks. The cycle completes itself with a five to six week shedding phase. “In order to be effective,” Dr. Ordon explains, “You have to hit the follicle in the right phase.”


The Pain-Free, Hair-Free Alma Soprano XL Laser uses an infrared diode to target the melanin in the hair follicle and destroy it. Touted as a permanent, pain-free solution to hair loss, the Alma Laser claims to be effective on all skin types and pigmentation. Each treatment costs approximately $500 and patients should go in every six to eight weeks until they are satisfied with the results. Dr. Ordon performs the procedure on Alma onstage, and Alma is thrilled with the initial results.

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