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Woman Blinded by Unproven Stem Cell Procedure, Lawsuit Claims

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. on November 20, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

All the damage relief in the world won't bring back Doris Tyler's eyesight. Tyler became blind after undergoing a stem cell procedure for Macular Degeneration (MD), a disease that affects about 10 million Americans. Though her vision was fading, she could still function and enjoy life. She wanted her full eyesight back, and was willing to take some chances. She was told by her doctor the worst that could happen was the treatment wouldn't work. He was wrong, and now she is permanently blind, and suing for misrepresentation.

Experimental Procedure Gone Bad

Tyler paid $8,900 for an experimental procedure in which her doctors made a stem cell cocktail from fat tissue taken from her abdomen. This solution was later injected into Doris's eyes by an eye surgeon. Two weeks after the injection, she was totally blind. Her retinas detached from the stem cell injections. She later learned she was the clinic's first MD patient.

Lawsuit Names Clinic and Its Affiliate as Defendants

The Tylers filed a lawsuit against the clinic that performed the eye surgery, as well as its affiliate, the Cell Surgical Network. The suit claims the risk of danger from the procedure "outweighs the non-existent benefits of a therapy with no evidence of therapeutic value." This isn't the first lawsuit Cell Surgical Network has been hit with. The Justice Department sued the Cell Surgical Network and a different provider, accusing them of a "persistent refusal to comply with the law" and seeking to prevent them "from experimenting on patients."

Misleading Stem Cell Claims Abound

Though stem cells have been touted to be a potential cure-all for around a thousand different ailments, clinical trials have only been conducted on a handful of diseases, such as childhood leukemia and Alzheimer's. The FDA even issued a consumer warning in 2017 that the only FDA-approved use of stem cells in the United States consists of blood-forming stem cells from umbilical cords, not from fat cells. Yet there are thousands of stem cell clinics conducting unverified procedures, such as this, leaving people permanently disabled, like Doris Tyler.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a stem cell procedure, contact a local medical malpractice attorney. Numerous patients are being handed false claims about the wonders of stem cell procedures, but unfortunately there is very little scientific data to back these claims. An experienced lawyer can help discuss the specifics of your case, and offer you alternatives to help you get compensation for your injuries.

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