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OA Patient Story: Leoma Gilley

by in Regenerative Medicine June 20, 2019

Leoma Gilley is long time patient at Apple Healthcare group and always had a good story to tell about her latest adventure. She loves to travel all over the world, but knee pain caused by arthritis and an injury was getting in the way. Last year, she became one of our first patients to benefit from our regenerative medicine protocols to treat Osteoarthritis (OA), chronic injuries and pain.

We spoke with Leoma earlier this week.

[lightly edited for context, flow and ease of reading]

Apple Healthcare Group:  Before you sought treatment, what were some things that you had trouble doing or were unable to do?

Leoma Gilley: Walk, straighten my knee or sleep normally. Because my knee was so unstable, I was having trouble going down steps. One Sunday morning I took a tumble down some very sharp and steep steps at church because I lost it with my knee. So that was “exciting.” I immediately had three doctors right there (we have a lot of doctors at church). That kind of prompted us to start doing something about it.

AHG: When did your symptoms start?

LG: I injured it when I was living in Nairobi. I had complex, multi-directional tears in the medial meniscus and just a “regular” tear in the lateral one on my right knee that wasn’t diagnosed properly for about seven or eight months. When it finally was, they scheduled surgery.

I tried to recover from that and struggled with that for another year.  There wasn’t anything else the surgeon could do, because obviously you can get rid of your arthritis, but you can’t replace the cartilage and you can’t put the meniscus back in there.

AHG: How did you end up getting treated at Apple?

LG: I’ve been a patient at Apple for a long time.  I was one of the first people he [Dr. Chris] had signed up for the OA treatment. I also had the dubious honor of throwing up all over their machine. Apparently I’m the only one who’s done that. They had to draw a lot of fluid off my knee that was left over from the surgery, which is why I threw up. Jenn [Gerard] is really good at jumping out of the way now!

AHG: What differences have you noticed since the initial Hyaluronic Acid (HA) injections?

LG: It was really remarkable. I had finished it in May of last year and am going on a Viking Cruise on the Danube this August that involves a lot of hiking.


Leoma’s initial HA treatment led to significant improvement in her symptoms, but OA is a complicated condition that can require multiple approaches to manage over time. After starting with the HA treatments and physical therapy, Leoma returned for stem cell treatment this year to continue improving her symptoms and prevent pain from redeveloping.


AHG:  How have your symptoms developed since treatment?

LG: It doesn’t hurt to walk, which is pretty nice. I was starting to hear the cracking and popping and bones rubbing together again. So we went through the stem cell protocol. I was supposed to do the OA program immediately after, but because I was traveling, we put that off until Thursday this week.


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