Washington Post

Clinic pitches unproven treatments to desperate patients, with tips on raising the cash

Tammy Rivero said a Lung Health Institute employee persuaded her to borrow against her home for her $7,000 stem cell treatment. Foto: Washington Post photo by Michael S. Williamson

By the time he called the Lung Health Institute, Ed Garbutt was desperate. The Dallas computer parts salesman could barely walk the length of his house without gasping for breath. Unable to work, Garbutt, 64, was going broke paying for trips to the emergency room.

Lung Health Institute staffers were reassuring, Garbutt recalled, telling him that more than 80% of their patients with lung disease said they found relief through their stem cell treatments - which would cost him $5,500, thanks to a summer sale. He said they told him that if he didn't have the money, he could get it other ways, like fundraising on GoFundMe...

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