What are the odds? 2 Midstate men picked for stem cell trial

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Brandon Lyons and Thomas Mundis have never met, but they have something in common: both are fighting to get back on their feet.

Both were paralyzed and both were picked to be part of a stem cell clinical trial at UC San Diego. Doctors are implanting stem cells directly on the injury site on the spinal cord. This is the first time it is being done in the United States and only four people were picked.

“I am number two and (Brandon) is number four,” said Mundis, of Hanover. “We live like an hour apart. It is pretty amazing to be a part of something so big.”

Lyons, of Camp Hill, was paralyzed after jumping off a pier. He underwent the stem cell surgery in San Diego on Tuesday.

“The surgery went as planned,” Lyons said. “I look forward to coming back home at the end of this month and continuing my rehab and seeing what the future holds.”

Munids was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident about two years ago. He had the stem cell surgery in February. Doctors cannot yet tell if his spine is regenerating, but he is feeling something new.

“I have muscle spasms,” Mundis says pointing to his stomach area. “They are just sporadic, but it definitely gives me a little bit of hope.”

The two are planning to meet when Lyons returns from San Diego. Doctors will monitor their progress for five years.

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