Stem Cell Treatment Saves Vice Principal’s Finger

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Vice Principal Dr. Wayne Foley cut off the tip of his pointer finger this summer, but it grew back because of a cutting-edge stem cell treatment.

A minor medical miracle saved vice principal Dr. Wayne Foley’s finger this summer.

Dr. Foley accidentally cut off the tip of his pointer finger while was putting in hardwood floors in Principal Dr. Cooper’s  house in July.  But most of the missing finger grew back in six weeks because of a cutting edge stem cell treatment he received.

“I always tease with the staff about what I do over the summer, and this summer I told them I decided to experiment with stem cells,” he said. “It was a joke, but at the same time it really did work.”

Dr. Foley said he has been doing construction work as a hobby for about 43 years.

“It’s therapeutic for me,” he said. “I love to build and help others.”

So, when Dr. Cooper asked him to help put hardwood floors in his house, he happily agreed.

This is the first time he ever had an accident, he said, and it was because he was rushing.

“I was kind of getting into a little bit of a hurry because there were some other things I needed to do.”

He was cutting a piece of wood and the two halves started falling in opposite directions, and to stop it from falling he tried to grab them.

“The blade from the saw didn’t stop moving and sliced the tip of my finger off.”

He went to the emergency room and met with the plastic surgeon.  They gave him three options, which included: amputating the rest of the finger, doing a skin graft, or getting stem cell treatments.

Foley decided to try the stem cell treatment, which would take stem cells from a pig’s bladder to regenerate his finger.

“Pigs are very similar to humans,” he said.

The stem cells were mixed into a paste that he had to apply every other day for two and a half weeks.

“The amazing part for me was how much of my finger actually grew back after the first treatment,” he said. “Based upon that I quickly became a believer.”

The whole finger took about six weeks to heal fully, he said.

“The process for me was exciting because I’m a science guy,” Dr. Foley said. “Even the finger prints on my finger tip are back.”

A small part of the tip of his finger did not grow back.

“If I could have had two more treatments, I probably could have regenerated the whole tip of my finger,” he said. However, because the treatment is so new, insurance labeled this technique as “experimental” and terminated this treatment.

Principal Dr. Brett Cooper said he felt bad that a colleague was injured while working at his house. He said he never found the tip of Dr. Foley’s finger.

“I did, however, find the glove and return it to him,” he said.

 

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