A Wakefield man has shared the story of how his broken heart was fixed following a chance encounter with an old flame who was looking after him in hospital.
Fitness fanatic Barry Newmans heart was working at just 13% capacity and had him fearing for his life before fate stepped in with a revolutionary medical procedure and an old girlfriend.
At one point Barry was a shell of his former self and a heart transplant looked like the only viable solution.
To get the latest email updates from Yorkshire Live, click here .
But after coming across a new procedure on The One Show he underwent surgery at a private clinic and his heart is now operating at double its former capacity, with one doctor saying he was a "walking miracle".
By chance, one of the people caring for Barry at Leeds General Infirmary was cardiac physiotherapist Nicki Simpson an old flame from their clubbing days in the 1980s.
Their love was quickly reignited and Barry soon popped the question, though it did result in a moment of awkwardness.
When he declared he had something to announce, Nicki feared he had yet more bad news about his health.
But then plasterer Barry smiled and, from behind his back, pulled out a ring with a large diamond in it.
Speaking to The Mirror, Mr Newman said: Nicki had been my cardiac physio since just after I was first diagnosed with my heart condition, so she knew better than anyone what shed be committing to if she said yes.
But within an instant she gave me a massive hug and kiss and said shed love to be my wife.
With Mr Newman's heart failure, the couple feared they might be on borrowed time.
But Barry, 54, would have another lucky break after chancing upon a revolutionary stem cell procedure that has already doubled his hearts capacity to 26% of normal function.
And that means he and Nicki can think about setting a wedding date next year.
Their remarkable love story goes back to their teenage days. Though they eventually drifted apart, an unlikely reunion came after Barry fell ill in late 2013.
After years priding himself on his healthy lifestyle, he began feeling short of breath, to the point of falling to his knees.
He was prescribed antibiotics but the problem persisted. In February 2014 a CT scan showed he had a massive, dilated heart and critical condition cardiomyopathy.
Doctors said it had likely been caused by a virus and his heart was working at a fraction of its usual capacity.
Barry said: I was told the only real solution was a heart transplant.
I was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary for what was basically palliative care to keep me alive as long as possible.
Compared to just a year before, I felt like my body was broken, all my strength was gone and I feared Id not see my son Robert graduate.
Barry had ongoing care from a cardiac nurse and, towards the end of 2014, was told he would also have the support of a cardiac physiotherapist.
He says: I was amazed when that person turned out to be Nicki, an old girlfriend from our clubbing days in the 1980s.
Wed been an item when we were 19. We drifted apart and I hadnt seen her since.
As soon as the pair clapped eyes on one another, their old spark was back even with Barry so terribly unwell.
We hit it off straight away, laughing at all the old memories, he says. In no time we were a couple again, almost three decades later.
Of course she knew this was a rather precarious situation for me as well as us as a couple.
But that didnt bother her one bit.
With professional and emotional support from Nicki, 54, Barry had a defibrillator fitted in his chest in 2016 which would restart his heart if it ever lost rhythm.
He has remained realistic throughout and says: I knew this was just another strategy to keep me alive until I reached crisis point and could be put on the transplant list.
I got progressively worse, to the point where every time I ate anything Id go grey and collapse and would have to be rushed to A&E.
This happened so many times I got to know all the nurses and porters at the hospital by first name.
Then in October 2017, Barry and his son saw a jaw-dropping report about work by the Heart Cells Foundation charity on TVs The One Show that would change the course of his life.
The innovative procedure involved taking bone marrow from the patients pelvis, harvesting stem cells, then injecting them straight into the heart.
With his "heart nearing its end", Barry instantly got his son Robert to contact the charity and its lead clinician, Professor Anthony Mathur.
Barry said: It seemed such a quick and painless procedure."
The foundation treats patients who are at the end-stage of life, and in November 2018 Barry underwent week-long treatment in London.
After a series of injections to stimulate the bone marrow, the procedure was carried out on the last day.
Barry said he was staggered by its apparent simplicity and how a routine op two months later showed how it was already working.
He says: It couldnt have been less painful.
I was booked in for a small operation in January 2019 and the anaesthetist said because of my heart he was hesitant about putting me under. I did a treadmill test to see how strong my heart was and the doctor said I was a walking miracle my results didnt match with my records.
Barry says he has since gone from strength to strength. He adds: While some cardiologists Ive spoken to are still cynical about my stem cell procedure, the facts speak for themselves.
My heart is now at 26% capacity, Im not taking all the various meds I was prescribed before, I can exercise properly, and feel amazing.
Before my procedure one of my worst fears was my amazing dad would have to go to my funeral, something no parent should ever have to do.
Sadly, I lost him in 2020 after a cancer battle, but I was so grateful he didnt have to watch me reach the end, to bury his own son. I also got to see Robert, 25, graduate in aeronautical engineering from Sheffield University, going on to work for a Formula 1 team and Nicki and I are planning our wedding next year.
This miraculous stem cell treatment hasnt just saved my life, its given me and my family a future, which is priceless.
Barry is among nearly 400 Brits who have received the treatment in its early phase and the success rate is 80%.
Patients typically experience improved heart function and a better quality of life with no further use of medication. Now doctors hope it could change the lives of countless more people. The procedure costs up to 10,000 a go and is not currently available on the NHS.
Learn more at heartcellsfoundation.com
Go here to read the rest:
- FDA Responds to Creative Medical Technology Holdings Regarding Its ImmCelz IND for Stroke Treatment - KPVI News 6 - May 14th, 2021
- Duluth health center specializes in regenerative medicine, hormone replacement therapy - Duluth News Tribune - May 14th, 2021
- Dr. Krger on Toxicities Associated With Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant in Myeloma - OncLive - May 14th, 2021
- Magenta Therapeutics Announces Positive Preliminary Results from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of MGTA-145 in Multiple Myeloma and Provides an Update on its... - May 14th, 2021
- Genenta Phase I/II Glioblastoma Data at ASGCT Show Temferon Delivered Tumor-Focused Interferon ExpressionData presented at the 2021 American Society... - May 14th, 2021
- ViaCyte To Participate In World Medical Innovation Forum Panel On Future Of Cell Therapy For Type 1 Diabetes - PRNewswire - May 14th, 2021
- Omeros' Narsoplimab Pivotal Trial Data to Be Shared as an Oral Presentation at the European Hematology Association Congress - Business Wire - May 14th, 2021
- Magenta Therapeutics to Participate in Upcoming Healthcare Investor Conferences in May - Business Wire - May 14th, 2021
- Outlook for multiple myeloma: Figures and factors that affect it - Medical News Today - May 14th, 2021
- Global Regenerative Medicine for Cartilage Market Report 2021: Companies are Continuously Focusing on Introducing New Technologies to Survive in the... - May 14th, 2021
- UB celebrates 175th anniversary of its origins in study of medicine - UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff - University at Buffalo Reporter - May 14th, 2021
- Stem cell therapy for COVID-19 and ARDS - News-Medical.Net - May 7th, 2021
- Experimental COVID-19 lung treatment being tested at Ontario hospitals - CityNews Toronto - May 7th, 2021
- EP. 4: Optimizing Patient Selection for CAR T-Cell Therapy - OncLive - May 7th, 2021
- Could stem cells improve the outcome of ARDS in severe COVID-19? - News-Medical.Net - May 7th, 2021
- Motixafortide Reaches Primary End Point of Improved Stem Cell Mobilization in Multiple Myeloma Trial - Cancer Network - May 7th, 2021
- Restricting the Growth and Spread of Head and Neck Cancers - Technology Networks - May 7th, 2021
- The global stem cell therapy market is projected to reach USD 401 million by 2026 from - GlobeNewswire - May 7th, 2021
- UCLA team discovers how to restrict growth, spread of head and neck cancers | UCLA - UCLA Newsroom - May 7th, 2021
- NUS scientists found a key element that affects how genes are expressed in blood stem cells - Newswise - May 7th, 2021
- Citius Pharmaceuticals to Present Mino-Lok and COVID-related Respiratory Treatment Update at Benzinga Global Small Cap Conference on Thursday, May 13... - May 7th, 2021
- Mesoblast says its stem cell treatment saved lives of severely ill COVID patients - Stockhead - May 2nd, 2021
- Antiviral T cells safe, effective as off-the-shelf therapy for painful complication after stem cell transplants - News-Medical.Net - May 2nd, 2021
- Antiviral T cells protected, viable as off-the-shelf treatment for painful complication stem cells - Microbioz India - May 2nd, 2021
- Desperate family of boy, 9, with leukaemia have 10 days to save his life... - The Sun - May 2nd, 2021
- Orchard Therapeutics Announces Multiple Presentations at the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy - GlobeNewswire - May 2nd, 2021
- Investigating CAR T-Cell Therapy for Use in Different Disease Types - Targeted Oncology - May 2nd, 2021
- Enhanced inhibition of tumor growth using TRAIL-overexpressing adipose-derived stem cells in combination with the chemotherapeutic agent CPT-11 in... - May 2nd, 2021
- Thomas Smeenk on Hemostemix's autologous stem cell therapy technology and why some call it 'the fountain of youth' - InvestorIntel - April 28th, 2021
- Monitoring levels of vimentin-positive circulating cancer stem cells and tumor cells in patients with advanced EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer... - April 28th, 2021
- Fate Therapeutics Announces Four Presentations at the 2021 ASGCT Annual Meeting - GlobeNewswire - April 28th, 2021
- Therapeutic Solutions International Reports Regression of Established Tumors by Combining its Cancer Blood Vessel Targeting Immunotherapy with Low... - April 28th, 2021
- A review of baculovirus vectors in gene therapy | BTT - Dove Medical Press - April 28th, 2021
- Stem Cell Therapy for COPD: Hope and Exploitation - DocWire News - April 26th, 2021
- Axion BioSystems Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board - Business Wire - April 26th, 2021
- Global Cell Therapy Market By Therapy Type, By Therapeutic Area, By End User, By Cell Type, By Regional Outlook, Industry Analysis Report and... - April 24th, 2021
- Pure Red Cell Aplasia following ABO-Mismatched Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Resolution with Daratumumab Treatment - DocWire... - April 24th, 2021
- Advancing the Development of Safe and Effective Regenerative Medicine Products | FDA - FDA.gov - April 24th, 2021
- New method helps map the specialized diversity and spatial location of cells within a tissue or tumor - News-Medical.Net - April 24th, 2021
- Chimeric embryo may have medical implications The Campus - The Campus - April 24th, 2021
- Survival and treatment patterns of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in France - a cohort study using the French National... - April 24th, 2021
- Guenther Koehne, MD, Highlights Recent Advancements in the Treatment of Blood Cancers - Oncology Learning Network - April 24th, 2021
- Rinri Therapeutics raises 10 million to advance stem cell therapy for hearing loss - The Star - April 24th, 2021
- Cancer Diagnosis in Patient Given LentiGlobin Revised to Severe Anemia - Sickle Cell Anemia News - April 24th, 2021
- Hodgkin lymphoma: Symptoms, outlook, treatment, and more - Medical News Today - April 24th, 2021
- Tissue Repair, Mitochondrial Function and Wound Healing Explored in 2021 APS Presidents Symposium - Newswise - April 24th, 2021
- Axion BioSystems Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board - BioSpace - April 20th, 2021
- Avalon GloboCare is seeking to tap the power of cells to fight cancer and coronavirus - Proactive Investors USA - April 20th, 2021
- Rinri Therapeutics Raises 10 million from Existing Investors and UK Future Fund to Advance its Novel Stem Cell Therapy to Restore Hearing Loss -... - April 20th, 2021
- Global Regenerative Medicines Market 2020-2030: Opportunities in Drug Approvals and Strong Pipeline of Cell and Gene Therapies & Multiple... - April 20th, 2021
- FDA Grants Orphan Drug Status to Novel IRAK4 Inhibitor in AML and MDS - Targeted Oncology - April 20th, 2021
- Vertex Drops $900 Million to Expand Partnership with CRISPR Therapeutics - BioSpace - April 20th, 2021
- Kaleido Biosciences Announces Collaboration with Robert Jenq, MD, to Explore Potential of its Microbiome Metabolic Therapies (MMT) in Preventing... - April 20th, 2021
- Partner Content | Being bionic: the future of regenerative medicine - TheSpec.com - April 14th, 2021
- Ohio State Recruits Top Oncologist to Expand Cell Therapy Program, Lead Bone Marrow Transplant Services - Wexner Medical Center - The Ohio State... - April 14th, 2021
- Leukemia Cutis: Symptoms and Treatment - Healthline - April 14th, 2021
- Green: Variants and outbreaks continue to put stress on hospitals - Vermont Biz - April 14th, 2021
- CRISPR Therapies Pipeline Insights 2021: Analysis of Key Companies, Emerging Therapies, Recent Happenings and Futuristic Trends - GlobeNewswire - April 14th, 2021
- Consortium to investigate role of neurofilament light chain in neurodegenerative diseases Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis -... - April 14th, 2021
- New pediatric cancer treatment method being used in Iran - Tehran Times - April 12th, 2021
- Personalized Cancer Vaccine Shows Early Efficacy in Patients With Diverse Tumor Types - Technology Networks - April 12th, 2021
- 1000th Stem Cell Transplant Given to Girl Who Is One in a Million - Stanford Children's Health Blog - Stanford Children's Health - April 10th, 2021
- Home : Stem Cell Treatments - April 10th, 2021
- Researchers discover unique regenerative property of cells in the early human embryo - News-Medical.net - April 10th, 2021
- Study reveals sex-differences in aging of the brain stem cell niche - News-Medical.net - April 10th, 2021
- Antibiotics need further study in cancer treatments - Chicago Daily Herald - April 10th, 2021
- Prolonged infection and inflammation drain immune responses as we age - Baylor College of Medicine News - April 10th, 2021
- Toward a transformative therapy for sickle cell patients - News-Medical.Net - April 10th, 2021
- Mass. Residents 55+ Or With 1 Medical Condition Can Now Get COVID Vaccine | WBZ NewsRadio 1030 - iHeartRadio - April 6th, 2021
- Mortality from Multiple Myeloma Within One Year Following Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation: Defining an Ultra-high Risk Population - DocWire News - April 6th, 2021
- BioRestorative Therapies Announces Appointment of Nickolay V. Kukekov, Ph.D to its Board of Directors - BioSpace - April 6th, 2021
- LGL Leukemia: Overview, Symptoms, and Treatment - Healthline - April 3rd, 2021
- Novel T-Cell Therapy MT-401 Under Evaluation in Post-Transplant AML - OncLive - April 3rd, 2021
- Funding the Next Generation of Cancer Therapies - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News - April 3rd, 2021
- Do Therapies for Alzheimer's & Parkinson's that Clear Abnormal Brain Proteins Make the Diseases Worse? - BioSpace - April 3rd, 2021
- Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for therapy-related myeloid neoplasms following treatment of a lymphoid malignancy - DocWire News - April 1st, 2021
- Insulin 100: How the road to a diabetes cure is yielding better treatments - News@UofT - April 1st, 2021
- The Government's Watchful Eye on Fraud Stemming from Stem Cell Therapy - Lexology - April 1st, 2021
- Introducing a neuro regenerative gene into mice with spinal cord injury improves motor function - News-Medical.net - April 1st, 2021
- Gracell Biotechnologies Announces Enrollment of First Patient in Registrational Phase 1/2 Clinical Study for GC007g, an Allogeneic CAR-T Cell Therapy... - April 1st, 2021