Westerleigh resident is alive because of stem cell therapy by his doctor — for free. Heres his story. – SILive.com

Posted: June 14, 2020 at 1:43 pm

Stephen Raffone had difficulty breathing. He coughed up sputum and was wheezing. Doctors told him he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that causes blocked airflow from the lungs.

As a result, he was being treated for stage 4 COPD.

His doctor was also treating him for cellulitis, an inflammatory and painful bacterial skin infection where extremities appear red and swollen and the area can feel hot and tender to the touch, as well as poor circulation.

My legs were beginning to get ulcerated and they were breaking down, said Raffone.

He was administered the Roman Catholic Churchs Last Rites three times several years ago when he was a patient in Richmond University Medical Center.

Raffone, who is now 63, was in need of a lung transplant.

He was a heavy smoker and it took its toll. However, because he was in a weakened state due to other serious health conditions, doctors told him hed never survive the surgery.

The Westerleigh resident, who has been in need of 24-hour care for the last several years, requires the assistance of two nurses who rotate 12-hour shifts.

One, a close family friend, suggested Raffone see a medical specialist who performs stem cell therapy, a procedure where the patients own stem cells are removed, treated and returned to his or her own body after a conditioning regimen.

She contacted Dr. Alexandre M. Scheer of Scheer Medical Wellness and he agreed to see Raffone.

Dr. Alexandre M. Scheer (Courtesy/Stephen Raffone)Staten Island Advance

But since Raffone was unable to leave his home, Scheer visited Raffone for a consultation and to evaluate his condition.

Fast forward a year and a half and Scheer has continued with those visits almost every Saturday free of charge also underwriting the cost for treatments, as well as Uber rides from Manhattan to Staten Island, in order to perform the stem cell procedure.

RAFFONES NURSE SPEAKS

One of Raffones nurses recounted Raffones journey.

She explained that when they started to explore stem cell therapy she placed calls to several doctors, but the biggest thing that jumped out at her was the astronomical cost.

But there was something about Dr. Scheer. And I just knew he was the right one, said the registered nurse for more than 30 years. "He wasnt interested in money. His goal is his patients outcome. Stephen did pay for the first set of treatments, but since then, Dr. Scheer has not taken a dime.

When the patient began treatments, the first therapy was a tremendous boost and then every week after that he was treated for seven weeks. In the beginning, the doctor visited every week and brought whatever supplies was needed. The PRP (platelet rich plasma) treatments are daily.

I draw the blood, I spin the blood," she said. We have a small centrifuge here so it separates the blood. The PRP is given by a nebulizer. It takes about 30 minutes. And once a week he gets a protein enriched plasma, which takes about a half hour, she added.

He has chronic venous ulcerations of the both lower extremities from the knee down, she said.

Raffone has end stage COPD. But since he started the treatments, hes gone to the hospital only once. And he has tested negative for antibody COVID-19.

RAFFONES TREATMENT BEGINS

Raffone was required to install the centrifuge machine with needles and plasma tube, a laboratory device used for the separation of fluids, gas or liquid, based on density. Separation is achieved by spinning a vessel containing material at high speed.

Initially, Dr. Scheer sent a plastic surgeon to my home to perform liposuction, a type of fat-removal procedure used in plastic surgery, where they separate the fat and preserve the stem cells, Raffone said. They did this four times weekly at the beginning. Dr. Scheer has been visiting my home pretty much each week since Sept. 22, 2018. But right now the stem cell therapy is done once a month."

They draw blood out and spin it. Its all done through IV. Right now stem cell infusion is done once a month and daily through a nebulizer. Dr. Scheer does it on Saturday and my nurse and dear friend to Dr. Scheer does it during the week. My house looks like a hospital. Dr. Scheer is keeping me alive and everything is healing up so well, said Raffone.

Stephen Raffone's left leg before stem cell treatment. (Courtesy/Stephen Raffone)Staten Island Advance

Raffone says he wanted to come forward with his account at this time because hes so grateful and especially today when so many negative stories are in the news.

We need some good stories. There are very few people like Dr. Scheer, especially now during the COVID-19 crisis, he said.

My nurse draws the blood and puts it in a centrifuge when the doctor cant make it from the city. But Dr. Scheer is still coming to my house in spite of the COVID-19 crisis," Raffone continued.

Raffone has been confined to a bed one that he says turns you from side to side and upside down. But Dr. Scheer is confident that when restrictions are lifted and physical therapy sessions resume, Raffone will be able to walk.

The stem cell therapy is not only helping to combat Raffones COPD, but it has also helped him with cellulitis on his leg.

Stephen's Raffone healed left leg after stem cell therapy. (Courtesy/Stephen Raffone)Staten Island Advance

Scheer, a staunch supporter of stem cell therapy, has a background in neurosurgery and regenerative medicine. He performs surgery at several surgical centers in Manhattan.

It has to do with the amount of cells your bone marrow," he said. What we do is . . . saturate the body with stem cells. It suppresses the inflammatory response. COVID-19 also is an inflammatory disease. The COVID-19 kills the lungs. So you dont have oxygen going through. The stem cells protect, so you have continual oxygen transfer.

Dr. Scheer, who practices at Sheer Medical Wellness in Manhattan, says you can regenerate yourself.

I want my patients to be fine. I will pay for the patient. Im happy Stephens alive. And then my life is made. Stephen will now be able to walk after physical therapy. He was on 12 liters of oxygen daily. Hes now on two liters. I know his nurse very well and thats how we connected. The stem cell treatment is the appropriate treatment for him. I pay out of pocket because I know the right treatment for his condition," he added.

Dr. Scheer points out in China and in Israel stem cell therapy is the treatment they use for COVID- 19.

Its where you take Eastern and Western medicine and put it together. The patients body and will to live and having the right outlook on life has a lot to do with proper health. Our group is so big. We have 40 different doctors in my practice. Im the medical director, he said. Stem cell treatment is the future of medicine. At $10,000 a treatment, its very expensive. And the number depends on the issue at hand.

THE INITIAL CALL

When Scheer spoke to Raffone, He said I cant get out of bed,' the doctor said. "I drove to Staten Island and I got to know Stephen and his family very well. Its not a one-time treatment. Im seeing him on a weekly basis. There is a relationship that occurs. And thats what matters and thats what keeps people alive. Hope is what keeps them alive. And Im doing this since 2001. The treatment involves platelet enriched plasma that suppresses inflammatory reactions in the lungs. Whats happening is youre able to suppress the inflammatory reaction. His legs and his heart are getting better as well. This is a treatment until we can get him walking.

Scheer says Raffone must undergo physical therapy in oder for him to walk around freely.

And hell be able to travel to my office. Im not giving up on him. Im paying out of pocket. A quarter of my patients, I pay for. Stephen has gone through so much. Hes alive because of stem cell therapy. And due to his lung condition with COVID, he has not contracted it."

Scheer says its been a team effort, with multiple doctors coming into play.

Stephen is keeping himself alive. Im just the tool that can help. I just do the best I can for as many people as I can.

Original post:
Westerleigh resident is alive because of stem cell therapy by his doctor -- for free. Heres his story. - SILive.com

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