Ryan, hasn't had a change in his eyes but they say we should be patient and have them checked in three months. There is an 8 year old blind girl from Canada that started treatment last week that is seeing more light and now can see shadows. They put a Christmas tree up in the common room and she is fascinated with the Christmas lights. She can see them, which she couldn't do before. She is also holding her head up by herself, before she always had her chin to her chest because there was no reason to hold it up. Amazing!
I've met three families so far with children who have cerebral palsy. There is a 3 year old boy from Greece that started treatments two weeks ago. His mother says since the treatments he has said 3 new words in one day. He also can grasp a lollipop, put it in his mouth and take it out again. She said he had never done any of those things before. There is another mom from the UK that brought her 2 year old son, George, for the second time this year for treatment. She said that his physical therapists said there was definite improvement since they came last January, so they came again for more treatments. The third family was from South Africa. They brought their 17 year old daughter. They said they had tried everything, along with hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Ry likes watching Youtube videos during his downtime
The doctor always puts heating lamps on Ryan. Ryan sometimes gets too hot and has me turn them off.
This is Tina from Greece. Her son, Panagiotis, is 3 years old and has cerebral palsy. He has learned three new words in one day and is able to grasp and hold a lollipop and put it in his mouth and take it out again. Both are things he couldn't do before he started his stem cell treatments two weeks ago.
We can go shopping at Carrefour every Tuesday and Thursday. There's an ATM in the ICBC Bank on the 2nd floor.
Every foreign patient has their name and the flag of their country on their door. Just yesterday they put up a Christmas decoration on all of our doors.
The hallway on our floor.
Looking at the hospital grounds from the indoor walkway that takes us from the In-patient rooms to the hospital. Everything is beautifully manicured/designed.
Ryan is so happy that tomorrow is his last day of acupuncture. He can't wait until he doesn't have to be poked with another needle. :)
Second to last eye therapy treatment. The fellow beside Ryan is Ahmed from Libya. He is 25 and just started treatments today for his blindness.
They had Christmas trees and Christmas decorations in Carrefour. I loved the little baby riding the red donkey.
Ahmed from Libya. Here for eye treatment.
Another view of the hospital grounds from our 10th floor. Patients can go out for a nice, peaceful walk and get some fresh air.
They have a Pizza Hut "extended menu" we can order from at lunch and dinner. Ryan ordered Cream of Mushroom Soup and a salad. I ordered the Potato Soup and a salad. They were good. We can also order takeout from McDonalds, KFC and some local Chinese restaurants.
You can click on the pictures to view the larger version.
They have this sign in the hallway near our room about a girl who has optic nerve hypoplasia and had stem cell treatment. Dec. 14
Trying to get a close-up of the "Better English, Better Future" banner but it was blurry. They had a trivia contest and were asking all the questions in English. The girls wear green and the boys wear blue. Dec. 14
They had some sort of military music playing and all the students were doing the same movements at the same time. Dec. 14
We went on another sightseeing trip to a nearby historical center. They had a shallow koi pond. Ryan really wanted to catch one in his hands. Dec. 15
A rickshaw. Dec. 15
Why they made walls with oyster shells. Dec. 15
The girls from the high school near the hospital that were there thought Ryan was amazing. We were stared at wherever we went. Dec. 15
The girls followed him around, giggling, pointing, and eventually asking to have photos taken with him. Dec. 15
We can look out our balcony and see students playing basketball at the high school next to the hospital. Dec. 14
They had some sort of "English Day" yesterday. The banner that caught my attention said, "Better English, Better Future." Dec. 14
They had a loud speaker that was playing popular songs we would hear on the radio in America. They also had kids come up and sing karaoke songs in English. Some were pretty good singers. Dec. 14
After they were done they all got into groups and marched off. Dec. 14
Kids' playground with logs held up with swinging ropes. Can't imagine a playground this "dangerous" in the United States, can you? :) Dec. 15
Wall made of oyster shells. Dec. 15
Oyster shell wall. Dec. 15
They all wanted to get their picture taken with him. They loved his blond hair. Some even wanted me in the picture too. :) Dec. 15
There were about 9 girls here. I heard one of them say in English, "Handsome boy!" :) Dec. 15
Before we left, Ryan got some cotton candy. Dec. 15
Ryan has had the lumbar, he said it was painful. They took him to the operation room in his bed and then brought him back about 30-45 min later. He was really annoyed that they took down the IV but he had to keep the needle in his had until just a little bit ago. He said he wants to be put out for the next one, but I think he was a trooper and that it will be better for not having general anesthesia complaints. I'm sure it was painful though. I asked him if he'd rather have a short amount of pain or a long amount of feeling sick/nausea from coming out of the anesthesia afterwards.
Ryan dictated the following to me:
Dec 12, 2012
I had my 4th and 5th stem cell treatments today. First I had an IV and then I had a lumbar puncture stem cell treatment. After the lumbar one I have to stay lying down for 6 hours and I can't have a pillow or raise up my head. I had to keep the needle in my hand for a few hours and I didn't like that. I just asked the nurses if I could get it out and they took it out. I just want to get up and walk. I just finished listening to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer on audio book. Right now I have 2 1/2 hours more of lying in bed. They took me for the lumbar treatment to the operating room near where I had the retro bulbar eye injection. I got on a gurney and they made me roll on my side and curl up. It hurt. I didn't like it at all. They told me to hold still and I couldn't, it was painful. At first there was pain and then later I felt them putting something in my back and there wasn't pain. Then they said, "Finished," and took me back to my bed. It's fun to ride on an elevator in your bed. My mom had to feed me my lunch in bed. I ordered McDonalds chicken nuggets. They only come with sweet and sour sauce in China. I had the choice to have the lumbar with a local (just in the back) or a general anesthetic (completely asleep). I wish I had done general.
2 1/2 more hours of laying down to go.
You can click on the pictures to view the larger version.
We went to the Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou for Ryan's birthday today. It's like a zoo that also has a safari section.
Rita, one of our patient coordinators, ordered Ryan a complimentary cake for his birthday. It was waiting for us when we got back from the Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou.
Ryan REALLY wanted to ride an elephant. He had a great time.
A cute baby orangutan.
Chinese to English translation isn't exact. Are they telling us to "carefully slip" instead of "Be careful--slippery"? :)
The elephant exhibit
A funny koala bench.
They had a "Safari on Wheels" in the park. The train "engine" had a Mercedes logo on the front. :)
13 candles! Ryan picked out the new hoodie at the Safari Park. He really liked the tigers there.
Just a few gifts that we packed. He picked out the Halo action figure set at the LAX airport while we were waiting for our flight to China. He's had to wait until now to open it. :)
The elephant would squirt water in the air and get a banana for it. They hid the bananas under Ryan's seat.
Ryan thought this was a pretty funny statue.
White tigers. Every 30 minutes they would do the "White Tiger Show." They would send out raw chicken for them on a wire and they would leap out to grab it and fall into the water. It was amazing!
Ryan had a hotdog on a stick for lunch and a Sprite.
A baby elephant.
This statue was at the exit of the Zoo.
Ryan had another stem cell IV today--the second one. He gets a headache halfway through the IV, which is interesting. Maybe the stem cells are going to the brain. :) He also had the retro bulbar injection today in his left eye only--they will do the right eye Dec 17. They took him to the operating room and he said they put some sort of paste under his eye then they pulled down his lower eyelid and used a big long needle they pushed under his eye to do the injection. No pain killer. He sure was a brave fellow. I waited for him outside the operating room until they opened the big door and brought him back out. Ryan was so funny--he said he's always wanted to ride in a wheelchair and on a gurney. Today he did both. His eye aches, but is feeling better as the day goes on. He is supposed to wear sunglasses if he goes outdoors.
We have been talking with Peter, one of the coordinators, about going to China's largest wild animal safari tomorrow for a tour. He said we can even eat in a restaurant there with white tigers on the other side of the glass wall. That will be a cool thing to do for Ryan's birthday (December 8th--he'll be 13). Peter also said that Rita will probably order us a cake. They do it complimentary for patients if they have a birthday while they are here.
2nd stem cell IV treatment today Dec 7, 2012.
One hand has an IV but Ryan can still play games on the iPad one handed. :)
Dec 6 - They put small gauze pads with "Chinese medicine" on his eyes before they put on the eye mask, and they also attach a moist pad to his wrist with a clamp that is connected to the mask. Then they turn it on and adjust the voltage.
Dec 6 - Ryan has eye therapy most every day except Sunday and when he gets the retro bulbar injections. It's an electrical stimulation around the eye area. Ryan said it just feels warm.
They bring Ryan this small thermos of "Chinese medicine" to drink every day.
The "Chinese medicine" is like a really hot herbal tea. We pour it in another cup to cool and Ryan alternates sips of it with sips of another "good tasting" drink to wash it down.
Smiling for the camera. Only the needle hurt in the hand. Otherwise it only took about 20-30 minutes. Ryan will have 8 treatments during our stay in Guangzhou. 4- IV, 2- lumbar (spinal), 2 retro bulbar (behind the eye).
Needle in the top of the hand for the IV.
They had a large saline IV and then a small packet of stem cells they put with it.
They monitored Ryan during the treatment.
We went on a walk during the afternoon.
Looking out at the barges on the water.
Back at the entrance to the hospital.
The hospital entrance. Look how tall Ryan is. He'll be 13 on December 8.