NBC’s Today Show recently reported on the story about a toddler with cerebral palsy, who experienced dramatic improvements in his disability following an experimental procedure involving a stem cell transplant. While still an unproven treatment, this provides hope that some children may be able to recover from cerebral palsy, or at least experience improvement of cerebral palsy symptoms.

Dallas Hextell, a 2-year-old from Sacramento, California, received an infusion of his own umbilical cord blood as part of a Duke University clinical trial. Within five days, he showed improvements in the limitations imposed by the condition, and his parents are hopeful that a cerebral palsy recovery, with no signs of the disability, may be possible for Dallas by the time he is 7-years-old.

>>VIDEO: Today Show story on cerebral palsy recovery

The child’s parents became very concerned about their child’s development shortly after birth, when he had difficulty feeding and constant crying. By five months of age, Dallas was still unable to balance and his head was often tilted to the side. At eight moths, a specialist diagnosed cerebral palsy, a form of brain damage that impairs the child’s ability to control and coordinate movements. At 18 months, Dallas could not crawl, sit up, clap or speak.

At the time of his birth in 2006, the Hextells chose to bank their baby’s umbilical cord blood. This is an expensive, but increasingly popular choice among parents today. A number of private stem cell banks will preserve cord blood collected at the time of birth and store it for future medical uses.

Doctors at Duke University are conducting clinical trials to investigate the effects of using cord blood to treat children with cerebral palsy or brain damage. Parents whose children have undergone the procedure have reported seeing considerable cerebral palsy improvements with speech and motor skills.

Last July, Dallas had his own cord blood infused in a procedure that lasted only an hour. Within five days, the child who had been unable to communicate was able to say “Mama”. His parents report drastic change in his ability to connect with others and control his body and he is now able to walk unasssisted.


Cerebral palsy, also known as CP, is a serious disorder caused by damage to areas of the brain that control motor skills. This damage can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth, or shortly after birth. There is currently no known cure for cerebral palsy and treatments to manage the debilitating condition make cerebral palsy the second most expensive developmental disability to manage over a lifetime.

In some cases, a mistake at the time of birth may cause cerebral palsy if the baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen. If a doctor, hospital or medical provider fails to follow the proper standard of medical care, and the child suffers a birth injury, financial compensation may be available for the child and their family.

The cerebral palsy attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential medical malpractice lawsuits on behalf of children with cerebral palsy and their families. If your child or family member has been diagnosed with CP and you suspect that a mistake at the time of birth may have contributed to the condition, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.