HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – A little girl from Highlands Ranch continues to make an amazing recovery from cerebral palsy. Her parents say the credit goes to her own umbilical cord blood.
CBS4 health specialist Kathy Walsh first met Chloe Levine three years ago and saw her again on Wednesday.
“She was already improving back in 2008. I saw her again a year later and there were barely any signs of a disability. Now Chloe is forging ahead on horseback,” Walsh said.
The 5-year-old rides once a week. It’s physical therapy on horseback. Chloe works on balance and posture. Much of the focus is on her right side. That’s because at 9 months, Chloe couldn’t hold a bottle with her right hand. She would drag her right leg and scoot.
Chloe had cerebral palsy caused by a stroke in utero. But her parents had hope. They had banked her umbilical cord blood.
Doctors at Duke University were infusing children with cerebral palsy with their own stem cells to possibly heal brain tissue. Chloe had the experimental procedure in 2008. Two days later she was saying words.
When Walsh first met Chloe in 2008, she was talking and using both hands. A year later she took off on a tricycle. Now she’s up on a horse and in Heaven.
“It’s the first therapy that I haven’t had to talk her into going to, drag her to, wipe away the tears, and once we’re here, she doesn’t want to leave,” said Jenny Levine, Chloe’s mother.
“She’s beautiful,” Chloe said about the horse.
But most of all, her mother credits Chloe’s cord blood.
“I know without it we would be living a much different life,” Jenny said.
Wednesday was the first time Chloe ever stood up on the horse. She played soccer this year and her mom says the coach never knew she had any disability.
Chloe will start kindergarten next month.