A five-year-old girl has become the first New Zealander to have brain damage treated with an experimental procedure using her umbilical cord blood.
Maia Friedlander from Auckland was unable to walk, talk or chew her food before the treatment in the United States three months ago, which involved having her umbilical cord blood re-infused into her body with an intravenous drip.
Her parents say her daughter's improvement since the procedure is a medical miracle.
Daniel Friedlander says he could see an instant difference in Maia's concentration and co-ordination after the treatment.
He says Maia is now attending kindergarten five days a week and it is hoped that she will start primary school next year.
It costs $5,000 to store blood at Auckland's Cord Bank until a person turns 18.