Stem cell surgery a success for local cat

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A stem cell transplant study led to a Lowcountry cat taking part in a ground-breaking treatment Monday morning.

Last year, 14-year-old Sabrina was diagnosed with kidney disease and not given a positive prognosis. Now, the experimental study might give her a new lease on life.

During surgery, stem cells were harvested from a four-ounce sample of her fat.

"We took a fairly large sample of fat, which is what the stem cells are derived from. When you compare that to a 10 pound cat that's a quite large sample of tissue," said Dr. Ruth Roberts, the veterinarian who performed the surgery.

Now the cells will be modified as Sabrina undergoes more treatment.

In the future, doctors hope that similar treatments can be used to help some of the 20 million Americans suffering from kidney disease.

Sabrina is recovering on a heating pad, doctors said.