Cow stem cell fraudsters sent to jail for almost killing human patients: some patients still support them

Two women in San Diego County are heading to jail after being convicted and sentenced for fraud related to stem cell treatments.The women injected concoctions of bovine stem cells from Germany and DMSO into patients. You can read the details of the original arrest here on the FBI websiteKathleen Ann HelmsAccording to a Modesto Bee article, Kathleen Ann Helms (aka Catherine Bright-Helms) pictured at right (photo from of Encinitas, CA will spend 18 months in jail and have 18 months of supervised release.
The article says:

City News Service says a judge told 57-year-old Kathleen Ann Helms that she endangered people’s lives and nearly killed two.

Helms pretended to be a doctor and treated patients as such. Helms’ nurse, Jacqueline Smith, who pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license, will spend a year in jail.

Remarkably, despite the fraud and dangers treatments, some patients still support Helms.

A piece says:

“There are as many of us who really believe she saved us and sent us on the right path to being able to someday get rid of this bad disease,” said Fallbrook resident Franzie Epperson. “I’m just very supportive of her. We feel like she saved our lives.”

I find it astounding how some patients will support fraudulent stem cell practitioners who break the law and take large sums of money from them. I just don’t get it.

The News10 piece goes on to report:

Helms was charged in connection with the treatment of four patients along with a fifth uncharged victim. 

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Helms diagnosed a patient with the inflammatory illness after looking at a sample of blood under a microscope, then prescribed a treatment plan that included shots of bovine stem cells from Germany.

Helms directed the patient to go to a Tijuana hospital to have a peripherally inserted central line put into one of her arms so Helms could give treatments intravenously. The patient agreed to pay $300 for the insertion of the line and $30,000 for the treatment Helms recommended, according to the affidavit.

Another patient was misdiagnosed by Helms as having Lyme Disease when he really had prostate cancer, illustrating just reckless and dangers this situation was.

The criminal case began after patients complained to the California State Medical Board.

Meanwhile, other readers of this blog, what can we do?

Stem cell community folks (scientists, patients, advocates, families, etc), if you believe someone might be breaking the law or endangering people (including you) via stem cells, I urge you to contact the FBI tip line here as well as your state medical board.

Take a step to help other people avoid being victims.