Change in brain-damaged daughter gives family hope after stem-cell treatment

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM

CARROLLTON, Texas -- Her parents don't want to be overly optimistic, but they say Lizzy Arnold is already showing signs of promising change.

"I think that we're seeing some awareness -- more than we had," said dad Steve Arnold. "So it's just hopes and prayers to see what we do."

The 24-year-old had been an aspiring singer and songwriter. In December, Lizzy was attacked and left for dead in what's believed to have been an assault at the hands of man she had dated. Her parents were told she would remain in a vegetative state, at best, for the rest of her life.

Instead of giving up, her parents decided to seek out a brain stem cell transplant, a procedure available in other countries, but not the United States.

With the help of donations and friends, the Arnolds took their daughter out of a long-term care facility Thursday night, loaded her up on a donated tour bus, and drove non-stop to Mexico.

Lizzy received a transplant Saturday afternoon. Monday morning, while driving back to Carrollton, she moved her leg for the first time.

"And then a few hours later," Steve added, "she was moving her right leg the same way -- just moving it around trying to get comfortable. She is moving her limbs now, and her expression is a little different. It's not that lost doe-eyed look. It's more focused looking."

The Arnolds have been told it could be months to see even slight change. It may also take several more expensive stem cell transplants to see real change, if they ever do.

But, for the first time since their precious child was brutally attacked and left for dead, what they do see is hope.

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