Once I became lucid, I knew there was something wrong and that I needed to see a doctor. I immediately went to an emergency room and the doctors ordered a CAT scan, quickly followed by an MRI of my brain. The results showed that I had six cavernomas, or vascular malformations, in my brain – the largest one located on the hippocampus, which is the area in the brain that is involved in storing long-term memory and emotional responses. These cavernomas were not only the reason behind all of these strange feelings and incidents, they were the cause of my seizures.
The type of seizure I was having is known as an “absence seizure” – I was literally absent mentally and would lose all of my senses for a certain amount of time. I wound pass out and could not hear or see anything for about 10-20 seconds, then slowly return. It would take quite a while for me to figure out who I was, where I was, and what had happened to me. I also experienced brain fog, and was unable to do minimal tasks. I felt overwhelmed with fatigue and would get an overwhelming feeling to want to sleep for the next 12 to 24 hours before my brain would “reset” and I could think rationally and be able to access memory.
The seizures started occurring more regularly along with “aura’s,” which are buildups of the same feelings of tingling, numbness, and visual changes but not quite reaching the level of a seizure. The time between seizures went from six months between the first and second, to once a month to every two weeks. Over time, I was having seizures at a rapid rate of once a week and typically would have 2 or 3 aura’s between seizures. I decided to go back to my doctor and ask if they could do anything to stop the seizures or at least decrease the rate at which they were happening because they were disrupting my life and my ability to work.
My doctor made the decision to remove the cavernoma located on the hippocampus. My surgery was scheduled on October 2013. The surgery, although very painful, went very well and I was seizure-free for a year and half. Unfortunately, the seizures slowly started coming back. I went back to my doctor and he informed me that there was nothing else that could be done. I did not want to take no for an answer, so I met with several other doctors and tried countless medications, all to no avail.
I was feeling defeated until a family member met Dr. Stanley Jones, co-founder and chief medical officer of Celltex Therapeutics in Houston. When I found out about Celltex and its autologous mesenchymal stem cell technology, I fully understood what the possibilities could be for repairing my brain. I immediately met with Dr. Jones, as I had reached the point of having three seizures a week, and they would happen at random. I knew if stem cells didn’t work, then my quality of life would remain as it was. And since Celltex would use my own stem cells, things certainly couldn’t get worse.
In July 2016, I received IV, intrathecal and lymphatic stem cell therapy. I saw a big improvement right away. I went from experiencing three seizures a week to only one in six months. I received my first post-therapy MRI in December 2016, and my doctor wanted it with contrast. I told my doctor that I was worried because I had a reaction to an MRI with contrast in 2012, but was assured that this MRI would use a different technology and that I had nothing to worry about. Although I had no issue during the MRI, I experienced severe pressure in my head for the next two days, which triggered another seizure and more to follow over the next week. I went back to having seizures once or twice a month. The MRI’s showed no apparent difference, just that there was a cavity in my brain from the surgery.
I decided to go back for therapy again. I had intranasal therapy in February 2017 and I could immediately feel a difference. Later on, I had a seizure, but it was completely different than any seizure I had experienced before. Instead of losing sight for 10-20 seconds like I normally do, I lost my sight for only a flash and it came right back. It was a different buildup and I came back to normal very quickly. I did not have my normal backlash of being tired or my thoughts being fuzzy afterward. My brain immediately had full function and I was not sleepy.
I decided to have a second round of intranasal therapy in April 2017. After therapy I experienced a lot of positive changes. The next seizure I experienced after that round of therapy can only be described as very mild with no loss of vision. I was not tired afterward and my brain was at full capacity. I had my third round of intranasal therapy on July 27, 2017. I had one very slight buildup and a simple “partial seizure,” which I would say is the lightest one I have ever had. I experienced and nothing like the seizures I’ve had before. I did not lose sight, consciousness, thought ability, ability to speak and did not get sleepy afterward and unexpectedly, but very thankfully, the aura’s have not continued.
Since August 2017, I have not experienced any seizures. Had I known about Celltex before my surgery, I would have gone down the stem cell route instead of having the surgery. Today, I am traveling the country as a medical representative and enjoying a newfound quality of life that allows me to continue helping others.
Celltex client Robert Potts has been seizure free since August 2017.