• Report: #466029

Complaint Review: MEDRA William C Rader Infomercial Hannah Ellefson

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  • Submitted: Mon, June 29, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, March 07, 2013

  • Reported By:LINTHICUM Maryland
MEDRA William C Rader Infomercial Hannah Ellefson
MEDRA.COM Nationwide U.S.A.

MEDRA William C Rader Infomercial Hannah Ellefson Medra Infomercial Scam False Claims LIes Fraudulent Patient Testimonies Malibu Tijuana Dominican Republic California Mexico Domican Republic

*Consumer Comment: Medra changed name to Stem Cell Of AMerica Hannah Epilepsy Patient

*Consumer Comment: Truth about Medra

*Consumer Comment: Spelling Error

*Author of original report: Medra continues to lie and is threatened by the truth

*General Comment: Misleading information about Hannah's medical condition

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Besides Medra's infomercial star patient, Ricci Kilgore, a new star has emerged by the name of Hannah Ellefson. She is a darling little girl with blue eyes and blonde hair. Take note that Medra does not use unattractive patients because homely people are not conducive in selling their fraudulent product.
The infomercial which is sited below is the most scripted, manipulative piece of fraudulent advertising that I have ever watched. Not only does it suppress the real truth about Hannah, it conjures up false emotion, preying on potential vulnerable victims to buy their product. Anyone who does not know the truth about Medra and its patients, will think that this child has recovered due to Dr. Rader's so called miraculous stem cell procedure, but this is far from the truth.



Watch the video

www.medra.com/video/medra4.html

As falsely stated in the infomercial, Hannah's EEG was claimed to have returned to normal and Rader healed her brain. The infomercial manipulated and lied that Hannah has been cured.

Now read Hannah's website, written by her mother Carolyn Ellefson. Hannah's seizures are more serious than ever and her EEG results are horrible.

Furthermore, the Ellefson's have given a German pharmaceutical Company website the right to post Hannah's photos to promote an anti-seizure medication called Rufinamide that they have never administered to Hannah. First the Ellefson's promote a fraudulent story to Medra and now they are promoting a medication that Hannah has never taken!


http://www.hopeforhannah.ca/journal_may_09.html



TO VIEW THE HOPE FOR HANNAH FUN RUN AND WALK PHOTOS, PLEASE CLICK HERE!
Mom's Journal, MAY 2009
- May started out beautifully. I was invited to be Mommy Helper with Hannah's kindergarten class on a visit to the Calgary Zoo. We had a fantastic time and Hannah and I enjoyed a great day together.
- Hannah's antibiotics for her strep throat and ear infection were complete on May 4. I was worried that the infection wasn't completely gone, because the frequency of the seizures was still quite bad, so I took Hannah to our family doctor for a check-up. He said that her ears and her throat looked clear, so we again had no explanation for the 4-5 tonic seizures per week that she was having.
- Seizures are still occurring rather frequently and Hannah is experiencing a lot more tonic seizures as she falls asleep and in the early hours of the morning. If she has more than one in a row, she tends to go into non-convulsive status following the second tonic and this requires Ativan to stop. The Ativan is getting to be incredibly frustrating. Hannah's baby teeth are falling out and being replaced by adult chompers. Now that she has bigger teeth, it is virtually impossible to slip the Ativan into her mouth when her teeth are clenched. We were told to put it in her cheek but it doesn't dissolve because she is so dry or else she has so much saliva that it comes back out during the seizure. If the Ativan does make it into her system, it takes forever to work. I contacted the hospital and voiced my concerns and they indicated that they are trying to schedule Hannah for an admission for prolonged video EEG monitoring and did not want to change anything until after the EEG. So we wait.
- Hannah had IVIG on May 5 and it went reasonably well. She was very tired and didn't have a lot of energy afterwards and that night she had a series of seizures that again required Ativan. This continued for the next few days with Ativan every day.
- The weekend of May 15th, 16th and 17th was the worst. Hannah was having frequent absence seizures, head drops, and tonic seizures and the emergency medications were just not working fast enough or for a long enough duration to combat them. On the 19th she was admitted to the hospital for assessment and video EEG. As soon as the EEG was attached I could tell that it was bad. I am not great at reading them, but over the past few years, I have learned some of the fundamentals of EEG interpretation, or at least enough to know yuck versus yippee. Her EEG was chaotic and she had very frequent absence seizures and epileptiform spikes everywhere. Luckily there were no bullets to swallow at the hospital, or freight trains to lay in front of in the parking lot, so I was forced to accept that her EEG was once again horrible.
- Hannah was moved to the unit and we settled in for a long 2 days of trying to keep a very active little girl in her bed. She can't get up and move around because she is pretty much tethered to the wall with wires glued to her head. Mommy was a one woman show, doing a dance here, a song there, pretty much standing on my head to entertain her. After the first couple of hours, mom was not very entertaining and Hannah was bored senseless.
- We went to bed early, and I cuddled up beside her in her tiny little hospital bed. She had a tonic seizure right after she fell asleep and then was postictal for a few hours. At 2:00am I felt a little finger poking my back and woke up to my poor little girl crying. I asked what was wrong and she was very upset complaining that her lips were hurting. Hannah doesn't feel pain appropriately, so I was trying to figure out what she was trying to tell me. Then she yawned and screamed and covered her ear. Okay, that I got! She had another ear infection! What the heck is with these ear infections! She seems to get so many lately, and they absolutely dump the poor kid and seizures take hold with fury. I poked my head out the door and tracked down her nurse to report the infection. I gave Hannah a Tylenol for the pain and the nurse came in to assess her.
- I'm going to vent again.....
- I asked her to page the doctor because this is the reason for all of the increase in seizures. We always lose control of Hannah's seizures when she is sick. Well..... are you ready for this? The nurse told me that neurology would be in after 8 am to see Hannah and there was nothing that could be done tonight because there was no neurologists in the hospital. What a load of crap!!!! I work for EMS and I transport patients to this hospital on a regular basis. If we bring in a child with a head injury, there is a neurologist waiting for them. If a child has status seizures, we are met in the emergency department by neurology! This is ridiculous. The nurse left the room...mommy stewed for a few minutes and then I totally lost my mind. Yes... I became one of those moms that all nurses despise! I rang the emergency button at the head of Hannah's bed and the nurse came running in. I told her that I wanted a doctor, any doctor, to see Hannah right now. She told me that because Hannah was admitted to neurology for monitoring, that no doctor would come in to see her and that we would have to wait until the morning. I looked at her and said.....Are you telling me that my daughter is admitted to the Alberta Children's Hospital and there isn't a god damn doctor that will come and see her when she is sick and in pain?. She walked out! I was absolutely livid. I pushed the button again and said, Unhook her from this EEG and I will carry her down to emergency so she can get treated!. Within 5 minutes a paediatrician was in the room. He was actually wonderful. He was very very kind to Hannah and he gave her a thorough exam. Sure enough, she had a horrible ear infection and a sinus infection. He thinks that the sinus infection had been plaguing her for some time and this might have been the reason for the significant increase in seizures. So there we were, back on antibiotics, only this time on double the dose for twice as long. Maybe she will finally be able to fight off this endless infection. She couldn't sleep and we sat up together until 6 am. We finally fell asleep only to be awakened by a student nurse at 7:30 am who wanted to assess Hannah's vital signs and level of consciousness. With one firm, No....go away, she quickly left. Mom is a bear sometimes! We slept together until 10 am.
I
- The second EEG day was better because Hannah got some visitors to entertain her. My good friend came with her daughter and her son, Grandma came, and then Sparkle the clown came and painted Hannah's face! That night was Pet Night in the hospital, and the lovely Child Life specialist arranged for a service dog to visit Hannah in her room. Wow!!! Was she ever excited! It was wonderful to see Hannah light up when this very special dog arrived. I can't wait for her to get her own service dog in December! It will be life changing for all of us. Watching this dog lay in Hannah's hospital bed illustrated another point.....we need a bigger bed!!! Haha. He took up of her hospital bed. We are going to need to move Hannah into a double bed for sure when she goes back to her own room after the dog comes home.
- Our neurologist came in on Thursday afternoon and broke the news to us that we were already expecting. Hannah's EEG is much worse (although she is sick). She is having very frequent absence, atypical absence and complex partial seizures that are very difficult to detect with the naked eye. These are often called, subclinical. She also had the three tonic seizures. He changed her emergency medication from Ativan to intranasal midazolam because Midazolam is stronger, and has a quicker onset than Ativan. He arranged for Oxygen to be installed in our home because her oxygen saturations drop after seizures and this can increase brain damage. He ordered a repeat MRI to see if there has been any change from the previous 2 MRI's that she has had. He is looking for atrophy or areas of dysgenesis in the brain. He also ordered a muscle biopsy to complete the full metabolic/genetic screen from 2 years ago.
- We talked at length about where to go from here. The sad reality is that there is nothing left for Hannah. There is only one medication remaining that might work for her, called Rufinamide, but we can't get it in Canada. Steve and I have been all over this, emailing everyone in the pharmaceutical company to try to access this medication on a compassionate protocol. I will keep you posted. The sad reality is that when this medication was first being marketed in Germany, we received an email from the pharmaceutical company asking if they could use some of her pictures from this website for their patient care guide. We agreed and she is now the child in their book, but she can't get the medication. Life is so bitterly ironic sometimes!!!!!
- I spoke with a pediatric neurosurgeon in Ontario and there is a possibility that Hannah might be a candidate for a much more invasive treatment called a Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS). I have been pulling every study and clinical trial that I can get my hands on about the VNS. This was never offered as a treatment option for us because Hannah's seizures are global but it has been shown to be effective in some children with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome. The VNS is like a pacemaker implanted in the chest that sends an electrical current to the left vagus nerve when a seizure occurs, essentially counter-shocking the nerve at the time of the seizure. This can interrupt the seizure and stop it. The problem with LGS is that there is so many seizure foci that the VNS couldn't possibly fire with every seizure so the sensitivity would have to be tweaked to only activate on certain types of seizures like tonic or atonic. We are waiting for the MRI results before we can pursue this any further.
- It is pretty clear from Hannah's clinical presentation and from her EEG that Valproic acid actually worsens her absence seizures, so this medication is no longer working for her that way. The problem is that there is nothing left, so we are all reluctant to completely pull this medication. We are leaving it alone for now. The doctor wants us to increase her ketone level through the night so her Ketogenic diet ratio had to be changed to incorporate more fat and less carbohydrate. Hopefully this will help with the night time seizures.
- We are heartbroken and for the first time in a long time, we feel like we are losing the battle. The only ray of light right now is that she was very ill and had two infections at the time of the EEG, so maybe it wouldn't have been quite so bad if she had been healthy at the time. We are hoping that they will repeat the EEG sooner than the standard one year time frame that we have grown accustomed to.

Fraud buster
LINTHICUM, Maryland
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/29/2009 01:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/MEDRA-William-C-Rader-Infomercial-Hannah-Ellefson/nationwide/MEDRA-William-C-Rader-Infomercial-Hannah-Ellefson-Medra-Infomercial-Scam-False-Claims-LIes-466029. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Medra changed name to Stem Cell Of AMerica Hannah Epilepsy Patient

AUTHOR: Bodie - (U.S.A.)

William C Rader has changed the name of his company from Medra to "Stem Cell of America". He still has the same scripted miracle patients.  Many of his patients seem to have a placebo effect  after the first  $30,000 so called "fetal stem cell" treatment. But beware,  once you sign over their story to Medra aka   Stem Cell of America, the company owns it for life, even after you realize that the results were not what you thought they were. 

In Hannah's case, she suffers from Lennox Gastaut Syndrome which is a roller coaster ride in terms of of active and relatively inactive seizure periods.  After Hannah's first so called stem cell treatment in the Dominican, her epilepsy was inactive and they gave Dr Rader the credit. After her least stem cell treatment, her seizures became very active. Hannah's mom details Hannah's struggle wit the syndrome in this archived  journal. The active journal disappeared immediately after it was pointed out to Medra that Hannah's brain was not healed, as Rader likes to claim. (See BBC's "Stem Cell and Miracles")


Here is Hannah's mom speaking about her condition after her last stem cell treatment.

Our neurologist came in on Thursday afternoon and broke the news to us that we were already expecting. Hannahs EEG is much worse (although she is sick). She is having very frequent absence, atypical absence and complex partial seizures that are very difficult to detect with the naked eye. These are often called, subclinical. She also had the three tonic seizures. He changed her emergency medication from Ativan to intranasal midazolam because Midazolam is stronger, and has a quicker onset than Ativan. He arranged for Oxygen to be installed in our home because her oxygen saturations drop after seizures and this can increase brain damage. He ordered a repeat MRI to see if there has been any change from the previous 2 MRIs that she has had. He is looking for atrophy or areas of dysgenesis in the brain. He also ordered a muscle biopsy to complete the full metabolic/genetic screen from 2 years ago.

- We talked at length about where to go from here. The sad reality is that there is nothing left for Hannah. There is only one medication remaining that might work for her, called Rufinamide, but we cant get it in Canada. Steve and I have been all over this, emailing everyone in the pharmaceutical company to try to access this medication on a compassionate protocol. I will keep you posted. The sad reality is that when this medication was first being marketed in Germany, we received an email from the pharmaceutical company asking if they could use some of her pictures from this website for their patient care guide.  We agreed and she is now the child in their book, but she cant get the medication. Life is so bitterly ironic sometimes!!!!!

http://web.archive.org/web/20091201172810/http://www.hopeforhannah.ca/journal_may_09.html
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#2 Consumer Comment

Truth about Medra

AUTHOR: Bodie - (U.S.A.)

The point of this report is to make parents, that have children with epilepsy, aware that the Medra Hannah Video is not true. As with all of Medra's Miracle patients, it is  a well scripted advertisement meant to con desperate parents into wiring $30,000 to the Bahama's to purchase hope based on no medical studies, just parent testimonies, that means NOTHING  MORE than I lost 80 lbs with acai berry testimonials.

As with all Medra Miracle patients, Hannah's other therapies are omitted. A lie of omission is to remain silent when ethical behavior calls for one to speak up.  An omission is a method of deception that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person's capacity to make an informed decision.

To omit facts, in an attempt to make a profit from parents desperate to help their children, is simply evil.

At the July Hope for Hannah fun run Hannah's dad thanked Dr Bruce Hoffman, so it appears weeks before the 1st stem cell treatment there was a decrease in frequency and severity  of seizures while under his care.  This was right before Hannah's first treatment

To Dr Bruce Hoffman, an integrative medicine specialist in Calgary, we want to thank you for never giving up on out daughter. Doctor Hoffman pursued Hannah's illness and arranged for testing in the United States that has led us to the cuase of her encehalopathy. He has had a profound and extremely positive impact on our daughter's health anf her seizures have certainly decreased in frequency and severity while under his care.

http://www.hopeforhannah.ca/steves_hannah_speech.pdf
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After stem cells treatments Hannah's mom is on a blog stating she beleives IVIV is the reason for hannah control. Again clearly showing what a farce Medra's infomercial is.

Hannah EllefsoN

Friday, July 18, 2008
Carolyn Ellefson said: March 1, 2008

Thank for creating this website to link together families affected by LGS. My daughter has LGS and currently her seizures have been very well controlled for over 6 months. Please visit her website for information on the treatments that are working, namely IVIG!

Posted by lgs foundation at 1:45 PM
 
http://lgsfoundationorg.blogspot.com/2008/07/yeyette-cochon-said-july-11-2008-hi.html
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is a medical fact that Lennox Gastaut Syndrome is a rollercoaster ride  with a succession of active and relatively inactive seizure periods. If you read Hannah blog you will see the roller coaster ride the sweet child has been on.

 The Medra video makes you believe "Dr Rader healed my brain" . It is simple NOT TRUE.  Go to the Hope for Hannah blog and read the truth.

Definition of a scam SCAM = "a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, esp. for making a quick profit; swindle."

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#3 Consumer Comment

Spelling Error

AUTHOR: ride23 - (United States of America)

I apologize for the misspelling of Carolyn's name it was a mistake, not some corporate conspiracy.  Additionally I never purported to be one of the Ellefsons, only a friend of the family.  I have no opinion on Medra as a company, only that the results I personally saw in Hannah were positive and that the Ellefson family continues to be happy that they chose to get the treatment.
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#4 Author of original report

Medra continues to lie and is threatened by the truth

AUTHOR: Fraud buster - (U.S.A.)

Medra is losing patients, due to the overwhelming factual information provided by the media, medical and scientific organizations and testimonies of their own former patients. They are desperately lying, in an attempt to recruit patients, before they get shut down. Lies to cover up lies is their modus operandi. Since their rebuttal, to the original factual complaint on Rip Off, has not come until 5 months after the fact, it strongly suggests that this rebuttal did not originate from the Ellefsons. The Ellefson's were aware of the complaint at the time it was posted. Furthermore, the location of the rebuttal is coming from the US but the Ellefsons live in Canada. To compound the lies, Caroline is not the name of Hannahs mother. Hannahs mothers name is Carolyn. Medra lies so much that they cant keep any of their lies straight.

 

In Hannahs own website blog, which is written by her mother, Carolyn, it states.

 Hannahs EEG is much worse, as is her seizing. Her mother states, the sad reality is we feel we are losing the battle. If the stem cells were pluripotent, as Rader claims, Hannah would be improving, not losing the battle.  The very nature of pluripotent stem cells means that they continue to seek out the damaged area, while multiplying to repair the damage. The fact is that Raders stem cell injections cannot possibly do this and Hannahs EEG, seizing and mothers own testimony proves this. Moreover, Lennox Gastaut is not a fatal disease It has a 5% mortality rate due to accidents, while the person with this disease is seizing. Therefore, the claim that this disorder would continue to worsen until Hannah died, is inane lies..

 

The only truth in Medras rebuttal is that Medra created an advertisement. However, it is has been proven that Medras advertisement  is a manipulated scripted and staged lie, in regard to all of Medras so called miracle patients, including Hannah, Ricci Kilgore, and Jake Brower.

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#5 General Comment

Misleading information about Hannah's medical condition

AUTHOR: ride23 - (United States of America)

I am disappointed and frustrated to see that Linthicum has chosen to provide misleading information about Hannah's condition in an attempt to discredit Medra.  Linthicum states that " Hannah's seizures are more serious than ever and her EEG results are horrible. "  This is simply untrue.  It is very easy to look through the entire www.hopeforhannah.ca website blogs and see the amazing improvement that Hannah made following her stem cell procedures.  She went from being a high functioning healthy 3 year old to a little girl experiencing literally dozens of seizures a day that impaired her ability to walk, talk, and control her bodily functions.  The diagnosis that her family received claimed that this impairment would continue to worsen until eventually Hannah dies.  After the stem cell treatments Hannah is once again able to communicate clearly, go to school at her age appropriate grade level, play with her parents and brothers, and enjoy being a 6 year old girl.  Hannah does still have occasional seizures, but they are usually related to other underlying medical concerns (generally infections), and they are significantly less frequent and less severe.  It has been a great joy for me, and for other friends of the Ellefson family to watch Hannah regain her dignity and her life in such an incredible way.  No one knows what the future holds for Hannah, but we do know that the stem cell treatments gave her a chance that the physicians here in Calgary, Alberta told her family would never happen.  The advertisement that Linthicum is referring to is not fraudulent or scripted.  They are the exact words that Hannah's mom Caroline said about her experience with Medra and Dr. Rader.  This report is inaccurate and misleading and should be removed for these reasons.
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