GLENBURN – It’s never easy raising a child living with autism, but a local family found hope in a controversial stem cell transplant. That was many years ago and the transformation has been incredible. .
“A doctor that was treating him suggested that he be placed into an institution,” said Marty Kelley, a mother of an autistic boy.
At that time, family members say Kenneth Kelley was screaming all day and on the verge of being violent. Nine years later, he’s living close to a normal teenage life. His family says it’s all thanks to Umbilical Cord Tissue Stem Cells.
“I couldn’t control myself back then because I have autism and it’s hard to control yourself,” said Kenneth.
“With Kenneth, his results were within days of his first treatment,” said Marty, “He started speaking clearer and he just really calmed down and seemed more serene.”
They saw progress after each treatment. He started to remember events and also learned how to read. But family members say they are happy they started the process when he was at a young age.
“If he had stayed like that, I would be scared because he was very violent – it was a lot,” said Philip Kelley, Kenneth’s brother.
The family had to travel to Panama in order to get him treated because currently, stem cell treatment is illegal in the states. Except in Texas which just passed new legislation making stem cell treatment legal.
“I have no doubt at this point he would be heavily medicated and in a home somewhere if we hadn’t found stem cells. It really saved our lives,” said Marty.
Now 16 years old, he’s preparing to get his drivers license. He loves learning about American History at school and going on drives with his brother for energy drinks.
“Kenneth was one of those children that you had to love and you knew he had a future and a lot of hope,” said Donald Kelley, Kenneth’s father.
He’s also a good big brother, playing games that he and his little sister came up with together, the family says, he’s a regular boy .
“He’s one of the best brothers that I have ever had – he’s amazing,” said Caroline Kelley, Kenneth’s sister.
“We knew God would come down and touch him and bless him and bring him home to us,” said Donald.