Caren describes her Okyanos experience: “It was wonderful! My husband and I were greeted at the airport and taken by car to the hotel.”
A few weeks later, the Chief Cell Therapy Officer at Okyanos called Caren back. He had spoken to a consulting ophthalmologist who, understanding both the disease and the mechanisms of adipose-derived cells, encouraged us to take on Caren’s case and move forward with treatment. It would be the first time stem cell therapy would be done in this kind of clinical setting to treat macular degeneration, a circumstance for which Okyanos obtained special clearance from the Bahamian government to proceed.
It wasn’t a walk in the park for Caren. While her general practitioner was in favor of this new option, her eye specialist in California was not in favor of exploring the potential of cell therapy to improve her eye condition.
Nevertheless, Dr. Caren pushed through. She was hopeful at the possibility of regaining and maintaining her sight, and with her medical background found it easy to grasp the healing capabilities of adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells—a strong deciding factor in her moving forward with Okyanos Cell Therapy.
“It had the possibility of healing. Being a doctor, I know about cell regeneration and the science behind it. I had done research on it. I went on the website and read the success stories, and I was willing to try it to see if it would work. I didn’t have any other options, and I really wanted to just go for it and hoped for success with it. It was exciting and scary at the same time,” she reveals.
A Calm, Comfortable Atmosphere
Caren in her private patient suite at Okyanos before cell therapy.
Dr. Caren’s initial encounter with the Okyanos team set the tone for her overall experience.
“It was wonderful! My husband and I were greeted at the airport and taken by car to the hotel.” The Okyanos Patient Concierge helped them get settled and prepared for a pre-operative exam the following day. “It was great,” she says, “and we were very comfortable. I was very impressed.”
Caren and her husband were picked up the next day for her exam at the Okyanos facility.
“The staff there—everyone is wonderful. They’re so friendly, so kind. It’s just a very nice atmosphere. And I felt very at ease with everyone, which was very important because I was nervous.”
Visions of a Clearer FutureToday Caren and her family celebrate the adventurous decision to try cell therapy. Now about 11 months post-treatment and seeing today in a much brighter light, she says, “I’m doing fabulous!”
After leaving Okyanos, Caren says the medical team prepped her on a reasonable timeline of when she might expect to see sustained improvements. “They had told me I might start to notice positive changes within 9 to 12 months—if it was going to work, it would be somewhere within that time,” she says. But one month after she returned home from Okyanos in The Bahamas, Caren’s eye specialist was surprised to see how well Caren was doing. She had only a very little bit of fluid in her eye and didn’t need an Avastin injection.
Her progress continued with some ups and downs, which were to be expected. “A few months later I did have a little fluid—no blood—and some slight distortion, so I had an [Avastin] injection.” She continued regular checkups, monitoring her progress—each visit showing gradual improvements compared to how things were before cell therapy. However, at a checkup about 8 months post-cell therapy is when she and her doctor were overwhelmed at the results.
“I went for my regular 6-week checkup and after my exam, I as told my eye was completely clear. I had no blood, I had no fluid—nothing in my scans or visually. It was very exciting, after 3 years, to be completely fluid-free in my eye. My doctor was verysurprised. He couldn’t account for it, he was stunned! I was very happy, my family was very happy. We all celebrated—it was a big win for us.”
A Little Hope Goes a Long WayThough Dr. Caren admits she had high hopes for cell therapy, the good news of her improvements was still a very welcome surprise.
“I’ve always had the hope that this would be the answer, because it made sense to me,” she says of the the treatment. “There was a possibility there that I was going to go blind, and that’s very scary. So when somebody does finally tell you, ‘You’re clear, your eye looks great,’ you don’t expect to hear that! It was very overwhelming in a great way.”
Apart from the improvement in her eye condition, Dr. Caren says she feels an overall sense of better health as a result of cell therapy, and can’t recommend this treatment enough to patients who, like her, live with macular degeneration or other degenerative medical conditions.
“You have nothing to lose but to try this treatment and it will have benefits. My overall well-being is great,” she observes. “Because the treatment is systemic, meaning it goes all over your body, it helps other parts of your body. My joints feel better, I have more energy and the macular degeneration clearing up was just the big bonus! I feel great! And I’m able to see so much better.”
Cell therapy had such a positive effect on her life that Dr. Caren firmly believes this treatment will bring hope and a better life to others facing difficult diseases. “Cell therapy at least gives you hope that some of this can be reversed,” she says. “It can really improve the quality of your life. There is hope for older, more mature people who have this condition.”
“There is hope for their future.”