Despite strong warnings, families turn to Latin America for stem cell ‘tourism’

NBC Latino

A growing number of families, seeking cures for ailments such as degenerative diseases as well as trauma, are turning to stem cell clinics in Latin America for therapy. While some patients say they have seen improvements, experts in the field of stem cell research have strong warnings, saying the treatments have unproven results and are potentially dangerous.

Vicky Garcia and Tito Bonilla were puzzled when they brought their son Andrew home from the hospital after he was born in Miami in 2009. He had trouble defecating and started vomiting yellow and green fluids. When Andrew was seven days old he was admitted to a local hospital for tests to make sure he did not have anything serious.

The hospital stay turned into a lengthy nerve-racking ordeal. After countless tests and treatments Andrew was diagnosed with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, a rare disorder where the gastrointestinal muscles don’t contract adequately. He had…

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