Stem Cell Therapy in Nuevo Progreso

It is a controversial topic that has been hotly debated for many years, and centers over the use of stem cells to treat various illnesses.

But as the debate continues on Capitol Hill, doctors just five minutes south of the border are already practicing it, and the people are coming by the hundreds.

Wallena Haynes is one of them.

At 72 years old, she considers herself a very active woman.

Along with her husband, Haynes manages the Chimney Park RV Resort in Mission, right along the banks of the Rio Grande.

But 18 years ago, Haynes never saw that possible.

"I could barely walk, I could barely get around, I could just barely speak, she said. I had lost my speech and of course I lost my job."

Haynes suffered a stroke, and was in what she calls a vegetative state.

She visited different doctors, looking for a life-saving treatment but was always turned away, until she found Dr. Omar Gonzalez in Nuevo Progreso.

"When I was actually able to go back and be a human being again, not just a vegetable sitting there| There's no words to describe," she said, choking back on tears.

Haynes found her "cure" in the form of placenta stem cells.

"The idea is to revitalize your body and to try to reset it in the way it was before," Dr. Omar Gonzalez told Action 4 News.

His clinic in Nuevo Progreso has been open for two decades.

After years of studying in Europe, he crafted his own method of what he calls stem cell therapy.

It consists of an injection of human placenta stem cells underneath the skin affected by the illness.

The placenta is donated immediately after birth. Dr. Gonzalez then screens it and prepares it for treatments, using only stem cells from placenta and not from human embryos.

"We're getting results with Parkinson's Disease, were getting results with adamant conditions, were getting results in diabetic patients, we TMre getting results in autistic patients," he claimed.

Even though his procedure has not received endorsement from the Food and Drug Administration, it is not stopping patients like Haynes from returning, and even bringing new clients.

"We go every year, she said. My husband and I both get the placenta implants."

But locals are not the only ones visiting the clinic.

Dr. Gonzalez said he sees about 300 patients a year, some from as far away as India and Australia.

He also added that the price for stem cell therapy is not cheap. The costs go into the thousands of dollars, but he refused to say an exact amount.