Jay’s Journey with Cerebral Palsy
Jay Shetty, aged 5 from Wimbledon, London, has had cerebral palsy since suffering a brain injury at birth. A pioneering trial at Duke University aims to be the first in the world to treat cerebral palsy with sibling cord blood.
Jay is unable to walk or talk and has been blind for the last three years. In addition, Jay’s spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy means he is unable to play with his little brother Kairav.
Jay’s Journey to Duke University
Unfortunately there is no cure for cerebral palsy but research with umbilical cord blood could change that. Research at several institutions around the world, including Duke University, has already yielded exciting results. Until now the clinical trials have treated children with cerebral palsy who had their own cord blood banked privately. The trials re-infuse cord blood stem cells through an intravenous procedure. Scientists theorise the stem cells will repair damage to the brain and improve the lives of the participants. In some cases, like that of Sparrow Morris who suffered an acquired brain injury, the results have been extraordinary.
Shilpa and Raj stored Kairav’s cord blood at birth. They knew about the clinical trials at Duke and wanted to secure the opportunity for Jay to participate in any future trials using sibling cord blood.
Jay’s parents, Raj and Shilpa Shetty, hope the procedure will have dramatic results for their son. ‘We’re delighted that Jay has been accepted for this study. It could lessen his symptoms of cerebral palsy to the extent that he may even be able to walk and talk which would just be wonderful’ said Jay’s mother.
Jay’s Journey Fundraising
The family are trying to raise £100,000. The money will be used to cover travel expenses to Duke University, North Carolina and additional therapies which are not covered by the NHS.