Don Ho (Tiny Bubbles) Stem Cell Surgery

by BrendaCloutier 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • BrendaCloutier

    Legendary Hawaiian crooner Don Ho (the man JW's love to hate) says he could barely walk, let alone sing, and would've been a "goner" if he didn't undergo an experimental stem cell procedure on his ailing heart earlier this month in Thailand.

    Ho, known for his signature tune "Tiny Bubbles," on Wednesday said he has experienced a remarkable recovery and hopes to return to the stage soon. "I'm feeling terrific, 100 percent better," Ho told The Associated Press in one of the first interviews since his Dec. 6 surgery. "I'm ready to go, but I've got to listen to the doctors.""When they say my heart is strong enough to get excited, I'm on."

    The 75-year-old Ho underwent a new treatment that hasn't been approved in the United States. It involves multiplying stem cells taken from his blood and injecting them into his heart in hopes of strengthening the organ. "It was my last hope," said Ho, who suffers from nonischemic cardiomyopathy — a weakened heart muscle not due to blockages in the coronary arteries.

    He was among the first patients selected for the VesCell adult stem cell therapy, which was supervised by Dr. Amit Patel, a heart surgeon from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The experimental procedure was developed by TheraVitae Co., which has offices in Thailand and laboratories in Israel, where Ho's stem cells were sent to be multiplied. The surgery costs roughly $30,000(euro25,376).

    Before the surgery, Ho said his heart was operating at only 25 percent and that he would get tired very easily, just walking or sitting up. Ho, who has suffered from heart problems for about a year, had a pacemaker implanted a few months ago.

  • West70


    Why do you say that he is "the man JWs love to hate"?

    Many years ago, my Ex and I went to his show in Waikiki. Prior to the show, a hawker comes around selling T-shirts. I tell him that I'll take 2, but ONLY if he first would have Don autograph them for us. He moved on around the showroom, but then about 10 minutes or so later came back to our table and said "come on".

    I say: "where are we going?"

    He says: "To get your T-shirts autographed."

    He took my Ex and I back to Don's suite, where we met, exchanged pleasantries, took photos, shot the **** about something he had in common with us, autographs, etc.

    Don also invited us to stay after the show for a "practice session" which turned out to be longer and better than the show itself, plus after it was over, we got to mingle with Don, his band, and other performers for another 30 minutes or so.

    This was the first full night of our first trip to Hawaii, so this was quite an unexpected perk.

    The next morning, I watched Gilad's "Bodies In Motion" on ESPN while we got showered and dressed. We then walked across the street and DID AEROBICS with Gilad on the beach.

    After his session was over, we went with Gilad over to Gold's, where we purchased 2 more shirts for Gilad to autograph. However, not before I had some fun with him. Instead of a Tee, I told him I needed a 3X tank, so I could wear it to the gym back home. Gilad says that the largest tank Golds has is XL which "fits the biggest bodybuilders in the world". As his eyes pop, I barely get it on, and I never ever wore it.

    Those were the days....

    I envy your living on the Big Island. We have stayed at two of the Waiakalo (sp) resorts, etc.....

  • rebel8

    The bleeding disorders community is impatiently awaiting the day when use of stem cells is approved for humans in the US. Hemophilia A has been cured in mice using stem cells. Don't get me started about how I feel about Bush and his fundie prohibition on all stem cell usage, a delay causing unneccessary deaths.

  • Dansk

    Stem Cell therapy seems to be at the forefront of medical techniques to combat a plethora of diseases these days. Contrary to popular belief, they are not all harvested from embryos. I am to undergo stem cell therapy in the New Year, but the stem cells will be harvested from my own blood.


  • BrendaCloutier

    Oops I missed the quip about JW's and Don Ho. I was in a hurry when I cut and pasted this article from another exJW db and have no idea what that referenced. I posted it mostly for Dansk's benefit. ((((( Ian )))))

    West70 - so glad your first visit to Hawaii was so magical! WOW! We're not able to move over for another 3.5 years... just before Kevan can say "neener neener neener" to his employer of 25 years and collect full retirement.

    My first visit was to the big island Kona side. It was less than 24 hours when I said to Kev "I think this is it... this is the place" meaning our new retirement destination. See I was dead set on Mexico. It's still a close 2nd for me and a distant 2nd for kevan. Never gave any of the other islands a thought cuz the Big Island was big enough to not feel so constrictive.

    New stemcell technology, yet in it's infancy, seems a miracle of miracles. I remember the first heart transplant in the early 60s by S. African doctor Bernard Christian, and thought THAT was miraculous! I'm psyched for the new technology and all it's applications.

    I'm totally psyched for Ian and his coming surgery! (I know Ian, you're not looking forward to it for some very good reasons....)

    Hugs y'all and Merry Merry Christmas and a Joyous Blessed New Year!


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