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Gordie Howe's family reports 'miraculous' improvement following stem cell treatment @NHLdotcom

DETROIT - Gordie Howe's family says the hockey great has made a "miraculous" improvement after he participated in a stem cell clinical trial.

The 86-year-old Howe had a serious stroke in late October, but in a statement released through the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, his family said his physical therapists have been "astonished" by his progress.

Executives from Stemedica Cell Technologies contacted the family and facilitated Howe's participation in the clinical trial. He had a two-day, non-surgical treatment that included neural stem cells injected into the spinal canal and mesenchymal stem cells by intravenous infusion.

For the first time since the stroke, Howe has been able to walk with minimal effort and converse comfortably with family.

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