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International Stem Cell Procedure Holds Hope for Oklahoma Boy

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Demarion Pittman's family hopes to take him to China for a stem-cell transplant procedure. Demarion Pittman's family hopes to take him to China for a stem-cell transplant procedure.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

An international medical procedure may hold hope for an Oklahoma seven-year-old who almost died in an overheated vehicle. 

Demarion Pittman was just three years old when a daycare worker accidentally left him in a vehicle after an outing.  Demarion didn't have much of a chance against the Oklahoma heat that day.  When he was rescued, his body had already started to shut down, and he suffered permanent brain damage.  His prognosis was not positive, his parents were told.

"He'll never walk, he'll never talk," said his mother Edna Pittman.  "They didn't even think he was gonna come out of a coma."

8/2/2010 Related Story: Mother of 3-Year-Old Left in Hot Car Warns Parents of Heat Dangers

But Demarion's parents believed.  They believed he would make progress.  And they still have that faith.  They've made the decision to take Demarion to China for a stem cell transplant.  The decision was made with a good deal of input from Demarion's Oklahoma doctors.

"They all did agree that if it were their child they would do it, because they thought that he was a good candidate," said Pittman.  "I spoke with every one of his doctors, not one of them opposed."  

The Pittmans need to raise $55,000 to make the procedure possible.  That would pay for the travel, surgery, and month-long therapy that Demarion would need afterwards.  About half of the funds have been raised. 

6/13/2011 Related Story: OKC Mother Wants Surgery For Young Son Left In Hot Car

Edna Pittman is optimistic about the procedure, although she holds no false hopes. 

"I'm hopeful that we will see some results," she said.  "And when I say results, y'know, I know most people think 'Oh, y'know, I'm expecting him to come home and walk.'"

Pittman knows better than that.  She knows that her son's progress must be measured in small steps.

"If he can hold a spoon, that's huge to me.  If he can take several steps on his own, that's huge to me," Pittman said.  "He's always been a fighter, always.  And as far as my part, I would never give up, ever." 

A fundraiser for Demarion is being held on March 17 and 18.  For more info, click here.  For more info on Demarion, visit demariongoestochina.blogspot.com.

4/22/2008 Related Story: Gov. Henry signs Demarion's Law

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