ADVOCACY MindaNOW: Villa Medica Revisited: I saw stem cell ‘harvest’

GERMANY (MindaNews/15 October)—  This is a follow up report on my last published article about our return trip to VILLA MEDICA in Edenkoben, Germany for our family’s  continuing search  for ways to cure  my wife Beth’s ailing kidneys by trying the unorthodox treatment using fresh stem cells. If you recall, we went for the first time last November 2012 resulting to her kidneys recovering a bit but still not within safe levels. Hence this 2nd visit buoyed by the modest improvement almost one year after the first injections.

Day 1, Monday we arrived with some Davao friends on the same flight from Manila on board ETIHAD AIRLINE after a 14-hour flight with a brief stopover at Abu Dhabi. It was cold and chilly but VILLA MEDICA’s luxurious Mercedes Benz van (with a built- in wine bar to boot) made the one and a half hour land trip along Germany’s famous auto-bahn highway a pleasurable zip passing through verdant green landscapes that were starting to turn golden due to the onset of autumn.

We arrived at the Regenerative Clinic on time for a mid-morning breakfast and met up with the rest of the group mostly from Davao arriving from other airlines. They were there trying for the first time Fresh Stem Cell Therapy “FCTexcept for Beth and another friend from Davao who were on their 2nd visit after an encouraging first round of treatment about a year earlier. Well, for those who have no serious health conditions but are here for rejuvenation, anti-ageing or just plain well-being, a single FCT treatment will suffice. Unless of course one wants to get the optimum experience for good health — in which case Villa Medica is the modern day “Mecca” of sorts, authorized and licensed by the German health authorities as a holistic, regenerative cellular therapy clinic nestled in a hideaway amidst vineyards and forests. Edenkoben is a quaint old pre-war German town with narrow streets and brick houses with a high-walled religious nunnery converted into a winery today.

After breakfast, all of us were immediately directed to proceed to the common “Infusion room” where a cocktail of Vitamin B12, glutathione, Vitamin C was introduced intravenous, to open up and prepare the body for the following day’s stem cell injections.

Day 2, Tuesday.  It was about 10 o’clock In the morning while waiting in our room for the doctors to come for the injections when my daughter KRISTEL suddenly called me to say that I was being invited by BOBBY CHIA, the Thai owner of VILLA MEDICA to come down at the laboratory area in the basement. It was at that time when the mother pregnant sheep was to be slaughtered and the stem cells extracted from the young unborn fetus and immediately injected to guests.    Yes, I was waiting for this moment. I purposely requested Bobby earlier to allow me to see for myself how the stem cells were harvested. Within 2 hours from harvesting, the stem cells must be injected on the receiver for maximum effect. In that condition, the young fresh cells are potent and not prone to cause adverse effects or rejection by humans.

I was told that the basic underlying principle in the Villa Medica procedure is the centuries’ old health maxim “same heals same”. Meaning kidneys of the donor heal kidneys (for renal problems); heart heals heart (for heart ailments); pancreas  for diabetics ; brain  for autism, Parkinson’s;  testicles  for  sex potency and so on and so forth.  In simple layman’s words, the donor cells are said to function as catalysts that when injected in the buttocks of a person, trigger the receiver’s  own aging or sick cells to start reacting by producing young cells which set in motion  the process of cell repair and rejuvenation.

Moreover, young unborn sheep fetus was used successfully over the years, since 1913, and Villa Medica had been pioneering this regenerative process some 50 years with about 100,000 clients so far. And still counting.

So when I got word that I would be welcome to see the “harvesting“, I rushed down with Kristel and met up with two Singaporeans. Bobby was there waiting and gave us lab gowns, masks, caps and fitted our shoes with sterilized plastic covers. Bobby merely said, “Jess, you said you wanted to see this. So go ahead see for yourself”.

I could only reply,  “Wow!” I quickly donned the standard sterile garbs and prepositioned myself at the glass windows. In the next room from my observation post were eight masked technicians also garbed in blue-colored lab gowns. They were busy methodically slicing from a slaughtered baby sheep on the “operating table” I saw them gingerly slicing into thin and small pieces the different organs and flesh of the “donor” and classifying them into small glass containers. Bobby earlier warned me not to accidentally touch a button at the connecting door because the required conditions were such that a mere whiff of air from the outer chamber could mean infecting and aborting the on-going procedure. It was that stringent and extremely sterile as required by German health authorities. Even the breeding and raising of the donor herd that Villa Medica maintained had to comply with strict government regulations.

Although masked, I recognized one of them, a Filipino doctor whom I knew since our first visit November last year. Dr Andrew Morato had been with Villa Medica for years. He spoke fluent German.  Last time I met him, I thought some full-blooded German was speaking until I caught a glimpse of his standard Bicolano  features. Dr. “Andoy”, although now a German citizen, is proud of being Pinoy.

In fact, I have an interesting story to tell. On Monday, Day 1 upon our arrival at Villa Medica, I was in Dr. Morato’s clinic where I joined my 72-year old friend from Manila  going through the final consultations in preparation for the following day’s  injections. I remember Dr. Morato was conducting the interview and was proceeding smoothly without any hitch until he asked,

“So, how’s your sexual desire level?”

Without batting an eyelash, my 72-year old jolly friend quickly replied, “Oh, sexual desires Doc? It’s perfect, 100 % . But there’s a problem.” He paused.

Dr. Morato quickly  asked, “What’s the problem, Sir?

My friend: ” Desire I definitely have. Even  more than enough. But delivery?  Only .005 %!” My intervention was quick : “Doc, pls give  him a double dose from testicles.  That might somehow solve his delivery problem!”  My friend laughed and said: “yes, please!”  Dr. Morato laughed too but nodded, “perhaps in agreement?” Funny but true!

Back to Day 2.    Shortly after witnessing the procedure at the basement laboratory with KRISTEL we went back to our room where Beth was waiting. In a short while, Dr. Morato with his German lady assistants knocked on our door and methodically injected the stem cells in the buttocks area. I counted 9 cartridges injected. It was over in less than two (2) minutes.

We were a group of eight plus their companions, mostly from Davao, encouraged by Beth’s own testimonial of positive results after her first treatment. We are however keeping their identities confidential for obvious reasons.  KRISTEL, who of late was appointed by VILLA MEDICA to be one of its representatives in the country helped facilitate the requirements on prior medical tests, travel arrangements and providing assistance along the way.

Day 3 was just for full rest in the morning and an afternoon shopping trip to a nearby city. Some still nursing sore asses from the injections but nonetheless all okay. And of course expectant of what the treatment might bring to their lives.

Day 4, our last day over breakfast, the husband of the Singaporean couple who were in our batch was loudly proclaiming, “It’s magic! My wife’s back pains radiating to her legs just disappeared when she woke up!” Her wife stood up and related how bad it was for a long time. Now it was just gone.

To some like her, it was quick and dramatic. Like our Davaoeno family friend who had FCT early this year whose early signs of Parkinson’s tremors just suddenly disappeared. He started moving about unaided, throwing away his cane. He told me he was planning to come back to VILLA MEDICA next month to join the next batch that KRISTEL is now organizing. A second shot might just wrap it all up, he told me.

Well, for many of us, it is still a long and patient wait, allowing time for the cells to hopefully regenerate and quietly do repair and rejuvenation work for better health and well-being. For Beth, it’s still work in progress. And for sure we keep you all posted in this medical journey of sorts. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews.  Lawyer Jesus G. Dureza was Presidential Adviser for Mindanao for former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria M. Arroyo. He was also involved in the peace negotiations in the talks with the MILF and the CPP-NPA-NDF and initiated, while Presidential Peace Adviser, the Tripartite Review of the 1996 MNLF Peace Agreement. He is currently President/Chair of the Philippine Press Institute. This piece is from his syndicated column, Advocacy MindaNOW).