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valhalla
03-19-2010, 08:05 PM
On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 9:06 PM, amagi101 <amagi101@verizon.net> wrote:

Dear SCP,

Thank you for answering. However, I still would like to know if anyone who has had treatment abroad has actually deducted these costs. As
these treatments are not allowed in the U.S., I can imagine that the cost is not deductible. I can also imagine that insurance companies may not
be waiting with baited breath to take on more expenses. Also the treatments would, no doubt, be more expensive here than in Germany or
Central America. It is interesting to see that the cost varies from $ 11,000 in Germany to $ 65,000 in the Dominican Republic, and that
statistics are not available.

Dr. Vina treated me for both cardiomyopathy and COPD on 8/29/09 in San Salvador. I was told by Dr. Saslavsky of Vina's team that
I would be able to feel the difference in my COPD in one week. Mr. Vina's interpreter said 2 - 3 weeks.

For the first two - three months I felt as if I had more energy. If this was for real or a psychological side-effect of having gone through the
treatment hoping desperately for improvement, I simply cannot tell. After six months, end Feb., I had my tests done here., echo and spirometry.
They showed no improvement. I reported this to Dr. Vina (all correspondence has to go through his translator in Mexico for Dr. Vina speaks
very little any English). I also asked many questions about their statistics, second treatments etc., which I thought were important after having
spent $ 24,000 for treatment which showed no improvement. Dr. Vina obviously was not happy about my inquisitiveness, but I finally did
get some figures which included that 20% of people had little of no effect from the treatment.

I was also told that a since the first treatment didn't work, a second one could be done for only $ 5000, which would be the cost of the
hospital etc.

I had traveled to El Salvador with a gentleman who was on a waiting list (B-list) for a heart transplant. There was no improvement in his case either.

We have sent our reports to Dr. Vina and are very interested to hear his view of them.

Now I do wonder if one treatment has very limited effects, if any, and that many more treatments are required for any substantial improvement/healing
to take place. In layman's words: if the conditions have to be bombarded with repeated injections of stem cells till it "takes". Few people can afford
this.

I do believe the information we receive prior to treatment is somewhat lacking and that more openness is called for, unless that would make for
less income for the psysicians involved in what one referred to as a "lucrative business".

I do believe stem cells have an exciting future, but that this technology is still in its infancy and that there are opportunities for both good and not so
good people to become involved.

Sincerely,
Trude Blomsoy
(Valhalla)

Connie
03-19-2010, 10:22 PM
Valhalla,
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Dr. Vina. As you must know every bit of information I can gather helps me to make a more informed decision.
Connie

barbara
03-20-2010, 12:46 AM
I would place the figure of those that get no improvement from his treatment at closer to 50%. I think that is far more realistic. One thing that bothers me is that there is no supplementation or complementary treatments recommended by Dr. Fernandez for COPD patients. I just do not believe that one treatment can stop the mechanisms that trigger the disease and its resulting inflammation and cause much actual lung regeneration. Some people have been helped by his treatments, but this may be a result of growth factors which would mean that continued treatments would be needed. Also, be aware that we have had no reports from anyone that had treatment for COPD at X-Cell in Germany. I would be highly doubtful if their treatments are producing any measurable results either. They do get an A+ however for the most advertisements on the internet.

One purpose of ICMS is to publish an Offshore Guide to Clinics which patients can use to see what clinics are taking an initiative to work within ICMS guidelines. Another important aspect of ICMS is the patient registry. This will enable doctors to track patients and document their progress or lack of it. To simply treat patients and then send them home and do no follow up unless it is to get the patient to return for additional treatment, is not helping anyone learn which treatments are going to work best for which diseases. Doctors who do not want to participate are probably more interested in making money. It is up to patients to inquire if the company is a member of ICMS or is working towards membership. Many may not see the importance of this until they get treatment only to realize that there really is no effort to follow-up or document a patient's status. How can a doctor learn from not knowing how his patients are doing? Clinical trials will help with this, but right now there simply aren't many of those around and patients are forced to go offshore for stem cell treatment for most conditions. Treatment is basically a crapshoot at clinics that don't track patients.


As reported in another thread, many of us have successfully deducted offshore treatments and related expenses.

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/itax/tax_adviser/20070927_medical_deductions_a1.asp

valhalla
05-16-2010, 12:14 PM
As previously reported here, I had treatment in El Salvador 8/29/09 for both
cardiomyopathy and COPD. Six months later echo and spirometry test were
done here. These showed no improvement and these test results were sent
to Dr. Fernandez-Vina at his institute in Argentina. He came back through
his interpreter insisting that I was better, this in spite of what my cardiologist
and the tests showed. Nor was Dr. Vina polite about it.

Dr. Vina had previously said that if there was no mprovement, I could have a
second treatment for $ 5000 which would just cover hospital costs and misc.
He now said that an additional treatment would be 13,100. I must take this to
mean that since he SAYS I am improved the price has gone up.

I do find it very worrisome that his findings are opposite from those of my
cardiologist, and he did not state on what he bases his opinion.

My travel companion who was treated also, has had the same experience.

If Dr. Vina makes any kind of statistics, will he then add two more
'successes' to his records - in spite of what other cardiologists say ?

Where does one go from here ?

Sincerely,
Trude Blomsoy (Valhalla)

barbara
05-16-2010, 01:19 PM
This is not good news Trude. I guess patients had better get promises for future treatment discounts in writing. I simply do not believe that this treatment is going to produce the results he claims. You might pay $5000 and again have no improvements. The efficacy of treatments needs to be tested through clinical trials and documentation. I don't believe he is doing either and therefore, it all remains a crap shoot as to whether one is going to feel better after treatment or not. He can do the trials in Argentina or wherever. I am not suggesting that he needs to spend millions on an FDA clinical trial. Many patients are not concerned with scientific, clinical evaluation and are happy with anecdotal evidence of simply feeling better. However, if you are going to rely on such anecdotal evidence from a posting or testimonial on the internet, you must be aware that you may or may not experience the same outcome that someone else did. There are a myriad of explanations for that. This is why I push for the use of the patient registry that ICMS has. It is a method of tracking patients. How many clinics are doing that on their own? Very few. There are some, but for the most part it is all about getting patients in for treatment, doing the treatment and then sending them home without much, if any follow up. The time has come to see changes from offshore clinics. We are moving into the next phase where the infant is now getting weaned off the formula a bit. It is time to see more care and documentation given to treatments. Stem cell therapy is still in its infancy that is true, but the infant should be putting on some weight at this point and growing and not just luring patients in hoping that they feel better after treatment after taking their money.
Sadly, Dr. Fernandez-vina is in denial if he does not accept the findings of your own physician.

Linda Jennings
05-28-2010, 05:32 PM
I deducted expenses on my taxes.
I went to El Salvador for a stem cell procedure in July, 2009. I felt better and was glad I went. I have nothing but good things to say about the whole experience. My pulmonary function tests showed an improvement, my pulse ox readings are higher. I go without oxygen around the house. I never did that before. I wanted to relate my positive experiences to Valhalla.
My friends tell me I have more pep, and my general well being has shown improvement.

barbara
05-28-2010, 05:46 PM
Linda - I am happy to hear that you have had some improvement. I have been told that about 50% of patients do get improvements that go to Dr Fernandez.
What is unfortunate in Trude's case is that the good doctor is arguing against the evidence of her own PFT testing. Some people get results and some don't and I hope that no one is told otherwise when they agree to sign up for treatment at any clinic. Until there is evidence well beyond anecdotal evidence, then a person really can only hope to feel better after treatment. The future will bring better, more reliable therapies that have higher rates of success. New discoveries and techniques are happening all the time.

Can I ask you to share your before and after FEV1? How many lpm's of oxygen were you using prior to treatment and did you use it 24/7? Has Dr. Fernandez asked to track your improvements? Thank you for any information you are willing to provide.