Clinton woman to get stem cell transplant in China
By Liv Osby • STAFF WRITER • July 27, 2008

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Sonya Watson hasn't walked since a terrifying wreck left her a quadriplegic, but she still dreams of getting out of her wheelchair.

This week, those dreams will take her to the other side of the world where she will undergo a controversial stem cell transplant.

"I am doing this because the doctors told me I would never walk again and I don't believe that's true," said the 25-year-old Clinton woman. "I can't get stem cell injections here at all."

Watson was just 17 and driving her grandmother to the eye doctor one day nine years ago when, she says, a defective speed-control system on her 1995 Ford Explorer caused her to lose control. The car flipped several times, leaving her with a broken neck.

Watson sued Ford Motor Co. and two years ago won a $15 million judgment. Another $3 million was awarded to the estate of her aunt, who died in the crash.

Ford, which said the accident was caused by driver error, is appealing.