UnderGround Forums StemCell injection causes infection for Alex Reyes

12/5/19 11:22 PM
1/23/06
Posts: 108437

https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2019/11/ufc-alex-reyes-recovery-comeback-spinal-infection

Like many fighters, Reyes had suffered his fair share of wear-and-tear injuries from all the battles in the gym and cage. A competitor at the highest level, Reyes wanted to find a solution. So he turned to stem cell injections from a company called Genetech.

After the first injection, the pain did not subside. So he got a second one. In the days that followed, Reyes began to notice the pain wasn’t improving – it was actually getting worse.

And worse.

And worse.

Five days later, Reyes couldn’t walk. Something clearly was wrong with him.

“On June 30, I got the injection. By July 4, I couldn’t walk anymore,” Reyes said. “When people say you can’t walk anymore, people say, ‘What do you mean you couldn’t walk?’ I was in excruciating pain to where my body wasn’t stable. I couldn’t even sit down. I couldn’t roll over in bed. I could move my toes and my legs, but the pain in my spine in my lower back was so unstable and inflamed and spasming. It was excruciating.”

 

“Talking to the doctors, they were telling me that it’s normal. ‘We did a lot of work. It’s normal.’ But I did this before, and it wasn’t like this. What’s normal?” Reyes said. “I stayed that way for three-and-a-half weeks on a bedpan. They kept telling me, ‘You’re in the 30 percent range where you experience pain for more than two weeks.’ Then I dropped down to ‘the 15 percent,’ and then I dropped down to ‘the 10 percent.’ After six weeks, they’re like, ‘You’re on the one percent.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, God.’ Everything was going wrong.”

So what was the cause of all this agony? After an MRI, Reyes was diagnosed with a rare but serious spinal infection – osteomyelitis. The injection he received was tainted with E. coli, among other nastiness. Even with a fighter-level of tolerance, Reyes’ pain was intolerable.

“As fighters, we know how to push,” Reyes said. “We have tough weight cuts. We have tough practices. … Preparing for MMA fights for five rounds can be grueling. I knew how to push myself. And the whole time, I’m trying to tell myself my body is rebuilding. ‘This is OK. I gotta keep pushing. I gotta keep pushing.’ But, man, it wasn’t getting better.”

The next few weeks were nothing short of a living hell. The pain was bad enough, but the mental and emotional anguish? Brutal.

Unable to function, Reyes lost his independence. He relied on his wife, Rosalie, to help him with everything, including when he had to use a bedpan. She had to take care of him “like an infant.”

12/5/19 11:23 PM
1/23/06
Posts: 108438

“Mentally, I feel like the train has left without me,” Reyes said. “Where I could be, right now in the UFC, and where I should be, compared to where I am. That’s the hardest part – trying not to let that get me down.”

But Reyes stuck with his recovery regimen. Even with progress, complications reared their heads when his IV stints began to consistently get blocked with clots.

“I (was) taking tons of pain pills and medicine,” Reyes said. “It was just horrible. Then on top of that, my IV pick line kept getting blood clots. I kept having to go in so they could remove that and take it out. They kept checking for blood clots in my arteries. It was just a mess. I’m still getting drips, but that’s what happened.”

* * * *

Adjusting to the new normal

Some of Reyes’ pain subsided through months of IV therapy – five-and-a-half months of three to four infusions a day, to be exact. Despite the decrease in physical distress, Reyes has been told he’ll carry this infection with him for the rest of his life.

“The crazy thing about this is that it never completely goes away,” Reyes said. “The infection in your spine, osteomyelitis – it goes dormant. You’ve just got to pay attention to it even though the infection isn’t active right now. I guess it can come back, and I just have to pay attention to that.”

Reyes still has obstacles to overcome. He still experiences pain as he attempts to build back up to peak athletic form. CBD has helped Reyes get off the pain pills. He’s stretching and strengthening his core through physical therapy.

12/5/19 11:24 PM
1/23/06
Posts: 108439

Fighting back

Reyes, 33, wasn’t the only one who suffered because of those injections. He’s not sure of the exact number, but has heard as many as 60 others could have been affected.

Despite the conserved effort to sue the company in question, the lawsuit was dropped after Genetech owner Edwin Pinos allegedly fled the country. Now, Reyes hopes to spread awareness for those who were affected but don’t have the same platform.

“I’m not that person looking for people to feel sorry for me,” Reyes said. “At least for other people out there, getting the word out can help others make that decision. I guess for the people who didn’t get to interview or speak about it or didn’t get their stories heard about this guy and how he operated his company, you know?”

Through his entire ordeal, Reyes has promised himself to make it back to where he belongs in the UFC. Perhaps in February or March, but no pressure. His self-belief is what has led him to all of his successes: a black belt, a jiu-jitsu title, two regional titles, and a UFC contract. So why should he change that?

“The possibilities are I know the odds are against me – but there’s nothing that’s stopped me yet completely,” Reyes said. “… God willing, I can get back in there and compete at the highest level. It’s a dream I want to achieve for my students, for my son. Anything is possible with support and belief in yourself, just chasing your dream and a goal. A passion that I have – I still have that.

“I will get back in there and make that walk to the octagon.”

Edited: 12/5/19 11:38 PM
1/23/06
Posts: 108440

This is an X-factor for the Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes fight...

Imagine the motivation seeing your sibling like that. It was Buster Douglas' Mother passing away that made him get off the canvas to defeat Mike Tyson. The upset is a real possibility now. 

 

 

When has Jones faced another undefeated 6'4 fighter who is younger? 

 

 

12/5/19 11:33 PM
1/23/06
Posts: 108441
12/5/19 11:50 PM
6/30/10
Posts: 2723

Wow...  can’t wait for that fight. 

12/6/19 5:43 AM
7/24/16
Posts: 5668

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

12/6/19 9:32 AM
8/7/12
Posts: 11692

Something tells me that company is not going to be doing much more business.

12/6/19 9:34 AM
3/17/14
Posts: 2025
GoffRAMSmahome'sgutsOUT -

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

it seema to be getting much worse than better when it comes to doctors and actually knowing wtf is going on. I trust the natural market store owner over my doctor. 

12/6/19 9:42 AM
12/29/06
Posts: 14791

Yeah having worked with them for years, MDs are aholes and even the best one I had turned on me and wouldn't apologize when he was wrong. Tried to use scare tactics.

 

12/6/19 1:31 PM
1/8/04
Posts: 13747
knappster - 
GoffRAMSmahome'sgutsOUT -

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

it seema to be getting much worse than better when it comes to doctors and actually knowing wtf is going on. I trust the natural market store owner over my doctor. 


Agreed gentlemen.
12/6/19 1:58 PM
12/16/11
Posts: 15076
GoffRAMSmahome'sgutsOUT -

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

It’s not like they were working on a transmission on a Ford, the body is complicated and doctors don’t use voodoo, they use historical data and patterns to develop diagnosis, it’s not an exact science.

Its helped an infinite number of people, if it worked as designed the doctors would be heroes, things happen.

12/6/19 2:18 PM
11/10/18
Posts: 5212
trobinson21 -
GoffRAMSmahome'sgutsOUT -

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

It’s not like they were working on a transmission on a Ford, the body is complicated and doctors don’t use voodoo, they use historical data and patterns to develop diagnosis, it’s not an exact science.

Its helped an infinite number of people, if it worked as designed the doctors would be heroes, things happen.

You’re right, but they are mostly arrogant assholes. I own a small chain of 6 medical clinics and they’re a nightmare to deal with. Always broke, never wrong, never apologize after finding out they were absolutely wrong. 
That’s absolutely not all doctors, but it’s the majority. The always broke part is almost all of them. That’s directly related to marrying women that are only attracted to your money lol. 

12/6/19 5:52 PM
4/10/03
Posts: 6305

Professional referral writers imo.

12/6/19 10:20 PM
9/20/19
Posts: 854

Stem cells don’t work unless taken with DMT. 

12/7/19 12:45 AM
4/12/11
Posts: 12523
GoffRAMSmahome'sgutsOUT -

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

That was a bad doctor. 

12/7/19 1:38 AM
10/2/12
Posts: 9167
trobinson21 -
GoffRAMSmahome'sgutsOUT -

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

It’s not like they were working on a transmission on a Ford, the body is complicated and doctors don’t use voodoo, they use historical data and patterns to develop diagnosis, it’s not an exact science.

Its helped an infinite number of people, if it worked as designed the doctors would be heroes, things happen.

*finite

12/7/19 11:41 AM
9/20/19
Posts: 859
GoffRAMSmahome'sgutsOUT -

Fucking doctors. Almost every single one of them has a God complex. Alex: "I know my body. Something is seriously wrong here." Doctors: "You're fine. We're the doctors, we know your body better than you do." Times three. Doctors: "Yeah, now we think it's actually a very severe spinal infection. Oops." 

Wishing you and your family the best, Alex.

I mean, if you go to a snake oil clinic with unproven treatments, those are the kind of doctors who will be providing your care. You’re paying cash so they won’t be apt to admit their wrong.