"I'm feeling terrific, 100 percent better," Ho told The Associated Press in one of his first interviews since surgery Dec. 6. "I'm ready to go, but I've got to listen to the doctors.
"When they say my heart is strong enough to get excited, I'm on."
The 75-year-old singer underwent a new treatment that hasn't been approved in the United States. It involves multiplying stem cells taken from his blood and injecting them into his heart in hopes of strengthening it.
"It was my last hope," said Ho, who suffers from nonischemic cardiomyopathy -- a weakened heart muscle not due to blockages in the coronary arteries.
The experimental procedure he underwent was developed by TheraVitae Co., which has offices in Thailand and laboratories in Israel, where Ho's stem cells were sent to be multiplied. The therapy was supervised by Dr. Amit Patel, a heart surgeon from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Ho found out about it on the Internet.
"I knew that if I didn't take things into my own hand, I would've been a goner," he said.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
DON HO SAVED BY STEM CELLS
Tiny stem cells, the singer says. An update to our earlier report, courtesy of The Associated Press:
Go, Don Ho, go.