Smart Cells and Future Health joint statement on grossly misleading competitor allegations. Read More

Sasha Browne

Sasha, 3, is infused with stem cell from her own umbilical cord to treat Cerebral Palsy. Posing for the camera with a broad smile across her face, there is little sign of the difficult start to life Sasha Browne has endured.

It is a scene her parents believe owes much to Sasha’s involvement in a pioneering stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy.

The three-year-old is believed to be the first British child to be infused with her own umbilical cord blood cells, and her parents told yesterday how they believe the controversial procedure has improved the toddler’s ability to walk, see and speak.

Sasha took part in the first trial to treat cerebral palsy, an umbrella term for a range of different conditions where the brain doesn’t work properly, causing problems with movement, posture and co-ordination, by injecting patients with stem cells harvested from their umbilical cords after birth.

Doctors injected the stem cells into Sasha’s bloodstream through her ankle in the hope that they would travel to her brain to help repair some of the damaged tissue.

After the procedure, physiotherapist told parents Tania and Richard, both 43, that Sasha’s progress had been faster than that of her other patients with the condition.

The news is likely to be met with caution by British experts in the field. Although unregulated foreign clinics have long offered stem cell therapy for a variety of conditions such as blindness and multiple sclerosis, the therapy is not permitted for use against in Britain and no scientific clinical trials have yet been published to prove that stem cell therapy has helped.

Mrs Browne said: ‘Sasha’s therapists would turn around and say, ‘Look at the difference in her – her walking is streets ahead of what it was before; look at her hand – last time I saw her hand it was really closed and now it is moving more’.

‘We feel there has been some general improvement in her motor skills and perhaps some improvement in her vision and cognitive ability.

‘We can’t categorically say this is attributable to the stem cell infusion. However, we and Sasha’s therapist feel the improvement has potentially been at a faster rate than it may have occurred, or in comparison with other children with similar abilities.’

Mrs Browne admitted that although her ‘gut instinct’ is that the stem cells are responsible for Sasha’s improvement, she cannot prove this because her daughter has also received other treatments such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy.

But Sasha’s all-round progress has been so great that a planned operation to correct a squint has now been postponed and may no longer be necessary at all. Her ophthalmologist could not rule out the possibility that the stem cell transfusion was responsible for her improvement.

Cerebral palsy is generally treated through a combination of physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy to improve movement and co-ordination, although there is no cure.

The Browne’s live in Dubai, where Mr Browne, from Solihull, West Midlands, works as an operation manager for a British construction firm. Sasha was born in the city.

The couple paid £1,900 to store Sasha’s umbilical cord blood with Smart Cells, a British firm with a branch in Dubai, as an ‘insurance policy’, hoping the blood may prove useful to treat any future illness. They did not known she would be born with cerebral palsy.

Sasha took part in the trial, by Dr Joanne Kurtzberg, at Duke University in North Carolina, USA, a year ago.

Although Dr Kurtzberg observed improvements in many of the children, she is now carrying out a second phase trial to establish whether these advances were caused by the stem cells or a placebo effect.

Stem cells – master cells with the ability to divide and morph into different types of cell throughout the body – have been collected from the umbilical cord and used to treat blood disorders such as Leukaemia and Anaemia for around two decades.

Doctors have recently started to investigate whether the cells can also be used to regenerate cells to repair tissues. Experiments in animals have shown the cells can migrate to the brain and repair damage, while British scientists discovered that injecting cells into the eyes of blind mice enabled the rodents to see again.

But critics of so-called ‘regenerative medicine’ accuse the private clinics offering the treatments of offering false hope to desperate patients with incurable conditions.

Shamshad Ahmed, chief executive of Smart Cells, welcomed the field of regenerative medicine and said Sasha’s case ‘confirms my long-held view that we do not know what these stem cells could be used for (in the future).’

  • "I just wanted to thank you for all your help and advice with regard to our stem cell collection. Our lovely boy was born on the 22nd and collection all went smoothly. It was down to your knowledge and customer care that I felt confident to use Smart Cells rather than another company"

    Lucy Coward June 2011
  • "Smart Cells are clearly very knowledgeable about their product. Even further, they spend time with the client to understand their wishes and current situation. I have found their response time superb and their manner very effective"

    Sara Onstad November 2010
  • "Smart Cells gave us superb service and it was very cool that they were so kind to chat with us and show us the laboratory and storage units. It made me feel more comfortable about your company"

    Nick & Kate Buckingham-Fry October 2010
  • "Everyone who collects umbilical cord stem cells hopes they'll never have to use it, but we know we've done the right thing by bagging and banking just in case we do"

    Simon Leadbetter 2008
  • "Your assistance in getting the kit to us was of more help than you can know - We had the comfort and knowledge that we were as prepared as we possible could be for a severely premature baby"

    Mr. & Mrs. Jonell 2007
  • "A stem cell transplant was the only way to save Ahmed! Ahmed is now growing in height and is transfusion and medication free. He loves school and playing with the other kids - he enjoys being just like the other children"

    Mohamed Ahmed December 2008
  • "Very professional, we knew we were in good hands and that our child's stems cells would be looked after."

    Kyle & Carla Poppleton December 2012
  • "I understand that stories of cloning and Dolly the sheep make people worry that they are playing with nature but it's the most natural thing. When you have children, it is your instinct to do anything to help your child survive. This is just one part of that."

    Darcey Bussell February 2004
  • "We are all living longer and a lot of us will unfortunately experience illness within our lifetimes - storing cells that may one day become part of a future treatment or cure will potentially prolong and enrich the lives of both you and your family. It's a no-brainer."

    Ruth Elizabeth Ellis January 2013
  • "I hope to never have to use it, however if that time should ever come, I'll feel more prepared than if I chose not to store my baby's stem cells."

    Francesca Baillie January 2013
  • "I would have no hesitation recommending Smart Cells to anyone potentially giving birth - especially if they have any historical family health concerns."

    Nikki Khan February 2006
  • "I thought the service was excellent!"

    Danielle Glenn Veierod September 2011
  • "Fantastic as always. This is the 3rd time I have used Smart Cells and would do so again if needed"

    Lauren McDonald October 2017
  • "Very Approachable when questioned and instructions are easy to follow"

    Nina Breunung June 2011
  • "Great customer service. Really friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, professional and responsive. Would definitely recommend to anyone."

    Emma Johns January 2017
  • "I have used smart cells twice and was very happy with the quality of service on both occasions."

    Sara Al Awar October 2015
  • "It was a stress free process from beginning to end. The staff were all very helpful and nice and our phlebotomist, Ela, was lovely. Would recommend Smart Cells to anyone wishing to have their baby's cord blood/ tissue stored."

    Laurelle Herft November 2015
  • "While we are fortunate enough not to have required the use of it yet, I am put at ease knowing that my son and daughter's cord blood cells and tissues are stored with Smart cells. The team in Dubai were always available and friendly whenever I had a query no matter how big or small. I have recommended Smart Cells to a number of friends but it is the reputation and effective client service from Kazal and his team which convinced most of them to sign up with Smart Cells over the any other storage service. I hope no one ever needs to use this "insurance" and for all to be happy and healthy, but if the time comes for its use I know Smart Cells will be able to honestly and effectively assist me and the rest of the families."

    Sally S Yousif January 2017
  • 身為婦產科醫護人員,一直明白臍帶血用途及應用。當我懷孕時,決定花點時間比較香港不同的的臍帶血公司,發現香港暫時沒有監管臍帶血行業。為了得到更好的保障,我選擇了Smart Cells,因為它受英國HTA監管,在英國已有近二十年歷史,加上工作人員迅速及肯定的回覆我的疑問,令我信心大增。

    Man Wong January 2019
  • 作為醫護人員,我明白到臍帶血對BB和家人的保障,所以我同樣為兩名孩子儲存臍帶血。Smart Cells 服務非常專業,過程順利,我絕對推薦把臍帶血儲放於英國Smart Cells。

    Ms Chong February 2019
  • "We want to thank you and your wonderful team including your service provider DHL for the super excellent service. Everything worked out beautifully as planned, even though we were in different countries and at such a short notice. Ace Service! Super Ace Team!"

    The Hesketh Family 2017 June 2017
  • “Excellent experience. The service is of outstanding quality.”

    Caterina Resca April 2015
  •   "At a time when there are a huge number of decisions to make, banking with Smart Cells was one of the easiest. This is a great company: terrific service, wonderful product, have already recommended to others!”

    D'Maris Coffman April 2015
  • “I was very happy throughout with the service, timeliness and courtesy.”

    Michela de Nichola June 2015
  • "I found the initial communication was a bit confusing - ie; Understanding the kit and who would use it, etc. However, once that was clear, the service was incredibly responsive and professional. We would recommend the service without reservation."

    Emily Perry December 2015
  • The service of Smart Cells is professional, reliable and efficient. I feel reassured to have contingency in place and that our child's stem cells would be looked after. Would definitely recommend Smart Cells to anyone who is considering umbilical cord blood and tissue storage.

    Christy Poon December 2017
  • "We strongly believe that the science will keep evolving and discovering new methods and treatments. Like every parent, we hope to never use stored cells; however, we like to think that by creating awerness and investing in stem cells we will be a small part of the effort to improve stem cell research and discover even more possibilities. When it comes to the Smart Cells team - we are highly satisfied. The Dubai team we dealt with is very professional and responsive. Fatima emailed us regarding every step and kept in touch during most important time in our life. A big thank you from all of us"

    Nejra, Khalid and Baby Hamza February 2017
  • "This is the second time I've used Smart Cells - very efficient, reliable and friendly service."

    Rebecca Guinness August 2015
  • "Mike and Danielle in particular were both great from start to finish. Really made me feel comfortable with the whole process. I would recommend Smart Cells based on the customer service and care they provided. Thank you very much for a very positive experience."

    Claire McCarthy-Morris September 2015
  • "All of your Customer Services Team have been an absolute credit to you. Any questions we had - you had a speedy response. You were very approachable at all times and was very informed about about what was going on. You made it very very easy for us to do this. Thanks a million, you were all an absolute star!!

    Andrea O'Brien June 2016
  • "Extremely good service as we were very late contacting Smart Cells as I began labour early and unexpectedly. Smart Cells responded out of office hours, very efficiently and professionally. Arrived quickly to the hospital and did the procedure with no fuss and disturbance to us. Would recommend."

    Rosemary Stockley October 2016
  • "The team was great and without their high level of responsiveness and thorough explanation, I would have probably selected a competitor."

    Benedicte Rabier-Adami February 2016
  • "As we had recently moved back to the UK from Singapore, we had not thought about the collection of cord blood for our second baby as we had done for our first. It was not till I was in labour that we remembered. My husband called Smartcells from the birthing suite, and everything was taken care of swiftly and painlessly. The courier arrived after only a couple of hours with the kit so we had it in plenty of time before the birth. Amazing customer service and turn around time! Highly recommend"

    Katrine Sawtell October 2016
  • "We were extremely pleased by the constant support and follow up by your staff. I was not sure if my wife did the right thing to call one of your colleagues at 2 am post delivery, but was delighted to know how politely and patiently you responded to the doctor's queries. We were really touched by this act. We wish Smart Cells all the success and would surely recommend to other parents."

    Faisal Hijazi October 2014
  • "Everything worked excellent and you were there the best moment of our lives!"

    Marianthi Christidi August 2014
  • "A professional service throughout, and our phlebotomist was fantastic!"

    Eve Ellis June 2014
  • "Staff have always been very informative and helpful. They have responded to my emails and calls promptly."

    Ruth Rincon Ordonez June 2014
  • "I am very happy for the service and care I have received from  Smart Cells and the phlebotomy team. I would definitely recommend Smart Cells for cord blood banking. Many thanks."

    Mehta Niharikaben June 2014
  • "We have used Smart Cells twice now and have enjoyed equally good service on both occasions. Friendly, professional and extremely helpful staff made for a positive experience and we would happily recommend them."

    Karen Jarvis May 2014
  • "Brilliant service and an easy application process."

    Kate Royle May 2014
  • "Just fantastic at every stage, very responsive, knowledgeable and helpful. I felt reassured that there was contingency in place for the collection on the day and the collection and pick up was smooth but didn't interfere with the special birth day. All staff were exceptional in friendliness and helpfulness at every point."

    Emma Williams March 2014
  • "Every person I spoke to from Smart Cells was impressively helpful and friendly. I personally dealt with Mike, Kauser and Ketan. They made the whole process so easy and efficient. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Smart Cells and the individuals that helped make my experience a pleasant one"

    Juliana Malik October 2013
  • "Smart Cells uses the volume reduction method. This is the most technologically advanced method to date and is being used by the most advanced companies worldwide along with the NHS. This difference, coupled with a top notch service left me extremely satisfied and reassured that I chose the right company"

    Ephrat O June 2013
  • "From the start, we wanted to explore storing our baby's cord blood and tissue cells. Smart Cells was recommended by our doctor and after our first initial meeting with them, we felt we would be able to make an informed decision. We still asked and got info from other companies, however we chose Smart Cells because they had the most comprehensive and informative approach and their staff were very knowledgeable, professional and helpful"

    Rula Tadros May 2013
  • "Smart Cells customer service department was excellent. They dealt with all my queries straight away and were clear and concise, reassuring me and keeping me updated without being pushy. A professional service which I am very happy with. If I have another child I will definitely use them again"

    Marisa Nurse April 2013
  • "Smart Cells have been exceptionally helpful and a pleasure to deal with"

    Sue Stevens February 2013
  • "From the very first phone call the service was exceptional. Your staff were incredibly knowledgeable and friendly"

    Mr. & Mrs. Parker February 2013
  • "Smart Cells were really good help in explaining the whole process and giving me peace of mind when I had a question. Very friendly and knowledgeable. It was a pleasure dealing with them. The two Phlebotomists who I was in touch with were both nice and efficient"

    Nora Ferda-McKay January 2013
  • "The service we received from Smart Cells was irreproachable! We contacted them on several occasions, by phone and by email and they replied promptly every time by giving us all the information we needed."

    Oana Cazacu October 2012
  • "The Phlebotomist was very friendly on the day of delivery. Overall I was very satisfied with the process and it was worth the money"

    Nina Breunung October 2012
  • "Very helpful and friendly service! Smooth, quick and efficient process at a very busy moment in your life. Thank you!"

    Mr & Mrs. Zackariya September 2012
  • "I am using your service for my second baby! Thank you for everything. Phlebotomist was nice and punctual. Very happy customer!"

    Mr. & Mrs. Daraban, September 2012
  • "The service provided by Smart Cells Oman was amazing starting from the day I emailed them first. Fatima Manzoor, Territory Manager, got in touch with me straight away and she was always available to answer any doubts we had. The follow ups were also great and gave us comfort. I thank Smart Cells Oman and Fatima Manzoor for all their help and excellent service and I will surely tell my family and friends about you."

    Mrs. Maisa Al Ajmi & Mr. Ali Al Lawati October 2016
  • "Great and efficient service. The customer service is very friendly and you get a lovely one-to-one rapport. Happy to deal with any issue but also honest in giving advice. Would certainly use again and would recommend it to any of our friends"

    Mr. & Mrs. Papasavvas August 2012
  • "I was absolutely satisfied with the service! Clear information, quick service and reliable staff. Thank you very much for your help and I will definitely do it again if we have another baby"

    Agata Tyranska July 2012
  • "The service was amazing, could not be better!"

    Acosta Guizar May 2012
  • "Thanks a lot for your quick service. I will never forget that I called you in the middle of the night from the Labour Ward and after 1 hour I had the kit in my hand. An hour later the Phlebotomist was in the hospital waiting for the delivery of my baby and to collect the umbilical cord blood and tissue samples. Best regards to all the Smart Cells Staff - My real life insurance!"

    Mr. G Petrone April 2012
  • "A very professional and friendly service. Always ready to answer any questions and give advise. I would definitely use them again!"

    Mrs. Asghar Khan February 2012
  • "The service that we received by the team at Smart Cells was exceptional, thank you!"

    Stacey Buccellato January 2012
  • "We were surpised by our labour beginning before we had received our kit. Smart Cells and their approved Phlebotomy service were able to provide the kit and arrive within one hour. Very Helpful with all dealings and all explanations were very thorough"

    Matthew Mackenzie December 2012
  • "Our previous two interactions with SCI were very positive but this time you went over and above expectations. The telephone conversations were very polite and informative. I will recommend SCI to everyone that we know who is considering umbilical cord blood and tissue storage"

    Mark Dunbar October 2011
  • "Excellent service, friendly, helpful and the Phlebotomist was great at the hospital and was a good part of the team. She wasn't in the way at all and stayed with me through my quick birth"

    Julia Kidd October 2011
  • "Thank you so much for everything! Your customer service was fabulous and the process was very efficient"

    Erin Bonnier September 2011
  • "We have been extremely satisfied with the service provided by Smart Cells throughout the whole process - including the Phlebotomist who was always attentive to our needs. We would have no hesitation in recommending Smart Cells to family and friends"

    Paul Adkins September 2011
  • "Customer service is excellent. The team were very friendly and knowledgeable. We used your company with our first child and used it again for our second. Would definitely recommend to our friends"

    James Rennie September 2011
  • "I found the overall service very good. I have been very happy with the service provided to us with our three children. Should we go on to have any more children we would continue to use your company to collect and store cord blood and cord tissue stem cells. Many thanks for all of your assistance"

    Eilish Kelly August 2011
  • "We used Smart Cells with our first child and now again with our second baby. The service is excellent and everyone I spoke to was extremely courteous and helfpul. Staff followed up on a regular basis with me and offered their assistance if it was needed"

    Tarek Bachnak July 2011
  • "Excellent service and also very helpful in all Stages of the process. Thank you"

    Lynn Bew July 2011
  • "Great service and very happy that we went ahead with the process. Would recommend to family and friends"

    Emmy Cahoon July 2011
  • "Thanks for all of your help and taking the time to talk things through with me when I first called"

    Natasha Thaker June 2011
  • "Very easy process and I am grateful for the additional explanations with regard to storage and use. Your courier was also very helpful when it came to pick up and transport of the samples after delivery which was much appreciated"

    Julie Kuenzel June 2011
  • "Fast and friendly service. Always available to answer questions and queries. Appointed a fantastic Phlebotomist who was lovely!"

    Cassie Ladbrook June 2011
  • "Thank you very much for your good service. I received all the information I needed and the knowledge to explain the process. I will definitely use Smart Cells again when I have my second baby"

    R Manole June 2011
  • "Excellent! Very happy with the overall service, Would recommend!"

    Michael Spasov June 2011
  • "Great service - you did everything you could to make the process easy at a challenging time"

    Anindita Doig June 2011
  • "Once again Mike, thank you for all your time and effort in explaining everything to the last detail. After a bit of shopping around and considering other companies it was really your patience and ability to answer all my questions that made me choose Smart Cells over all the others"

    Marysia Angus June 2011
  • 將Asher珍貴的臍帶血和臍帶組織交託給有信譽的公司儲存,係我生產後第一個任務, 最後我選擇了位於英國的寶諾臍帶血庫。第二朝我未訓醒就已經收到通知,已經空運到達英國了。

    星級客戶-吳雨霏 Kary Ng July 2018
  • Thank you Smart Cells Hong Kong for educating us on cord blood and cord tissue storage. It never hurts to be extra prepared.

    星級客戶-岑麗香 Eliza Sam March 2019
  • Both Sarah and I have been so lucky to have had so much help and advice from friends and family with regards to taking care of Baby Damon. A massive thanks to Simon and the Smart Cells Hong Kong team for looking after me and my family.

    星級客戶-宋熙年和陳智燊 Sarah & Jason January 2019
  • 首次做人媽媽,實在好興奮。每一個懷孕階段都有不同嘅擔心。非常希望可以將所有最好嘅嘢,都送俾bb豬,為咗佢將來嘅健康,我決定選擇將最無價珍貴嘅臍帶血及臍帶組織交俾Smart Cells。我相信,世上無任何一位父母會default甚至預料自己嘅寶貝將會有任何健康問題。 但係,當你知道用bb自己嘅臍帶係可以為佢醫治好多可怕嘅病症,作為父母又點會say no呢? 我好開心可以搵到一間非常有信譽、有19年豐富可靠經驗嘅臍帶血庫,為bb豬做好準備,亦係最好嘅第一份禮物。

    Christine Yeung May 2019
  • 距離預產期快2週才開始找臍血儲存公司。 Smart Cells 比起其他本地公司, 我覺得專業及非常有行業規範!不會死纏爛打,更不會像某些公司的銷售開口就詆毀別的公司、還要反問客戶妳選擇他們家不擔心他們做不下去嘛! 中間有什麼疑問,跟Carol 溝通她都非常及時解答。本身就來自倫敦的我,認為 Smart Cells 更值得信賴!

    Ms Zhang June 2019
  • 無任何嘢比起孩子嘅健康更加重要,而當知道BB臍帶血可以為佢治療好多可怕嘅疾病,就決定將最無價嘅臍帶血及臍帶組織交比19年豐富經驗及信譽嘅Smart Cells 作為Little Lee第一份禮物,BB希望你鍾意哩份珍貴嘅禮物啦!

    星級客戶- 胡杏兒 Myolie Wu June 2019
  • As parents we try to provide, protect, and do the best we can for our children in any way. The idea of cord blood and tissue storage was a bit strange for us at first as we didn’t understand or saw a purpose for it. The idea of someone keeping a part of our baby was also never going to happen, but as we researched, understand, and spoke with other parents, we knew it was a no-brainer decision that we had to do and won’t regret! Not only is cord blood and tissue storage for our baby, but it can also be used for us and our parents as well if a time is ever needed. Tho the idea of stem cell is still relatively new, with time we really have no idea where medical, technology, and science will be? So if we can do something now to ensure some safety for our loved ones in the future, then why not? 💕 Thank you Smart Cells Hong Kong

    星級客戶- 樂基兒 Gaile Lok June 2019
  • 距離預產期還有3周才開始找臍帶血庫,對比了很多本地和國際公司,最後還是選擇 SmartCells, 因為有 HTA 的嚴格監管令人更放心和信任。 另外,幸好有 Smart Cells 顧問 Carol 及時的服務和解答,確保了BB出生前把準備工作都安排好!

    P.P. CHAN APRIL 2019
Related Projects

Start typing and press Enter to search