About the "Akogo?" Foundation

The „Akogo?” Foundation was established in 2002 by Ewa Blaszczyk-Janczarska and Father Wojciech Drozdowicz (he created a TV programme „Seed” and  at present is the parish priest for post Camaldolese Church at Warsaw district Bielany at Cardinal Wyszynski’s University.)

Ewa Blaszczyk’s Foundation „Akogo?” – is a Polish Non Government Organization which systemically solves the problems of persons in coma. When we started, there was no systemic help for the patients with severe brain injuries in the state of coma, in our country.

We carried out a number of campaigns educating Polish society, what problems the patients in coma had. Together with the Ministry of Health we initiated and worked out the programme to treat the children in coma in phase B, which is now included into the public healthcare system.

We built the „Alarm Clock” Clinic – the first in our country model rehabilitation center for the children in coma. There we have 15 beds for the children aged 2-18. Until November 2018, 50 children woke up in the clinic which has been working since July 2013.  We do our best to provide  medical health aid on the highest world level, making the most of various new treatment methods, diagnostics and as many as possible neuro-rehabilitation methods.

Owing to our initiative and the co-operation with prof. Wojciech Maksymowicz, the Minister of Health issued a bill which made it possible to start the treatment programme for the adults in coma (November 2016). This enabled opening the first „waking-up” ward for adults at University Hospital in Olsztyn (since 1 April 2017). Eight patients can be treated there simultaneously. Enlarging the ward is planned in future. The „Akogo?” Foundation co-operates in this project and supports the ward to equip it in neccesery rehebilitation and medical equipment.

We’ve been taking steps  aiming at opening the „Alarm Clock” Clinic for adults which will be situated at Bródnowski Hospital in Warsaw, so that a grown-up patient who is in coma, could also be included into professional, effective help programme.

At the same time we’ve been trying to bring the medical world achievments on coma problems to Poland, to exchange scientific knowlendge and also to carry out experimental programmes. The International Scientific Conference „The latest achievments in diagnostics and treating coma”, was organized in November 2015. Over 400 participants from all over the country listened to the lectures delivered by the most distinguished scientists and doctors from Japan, Germany, Belgium and Poland, and learned about the latest achievments on how to tell the vegetative state from the minimal consciousnesses well as the latest methods for treating the patients in coma.

This conference resulted in working out the project to carry out innovatory operations of implanting the dorsal cord stimulators to patients in coma. In May 2016 prof. Isao Morita, from Japan, together with prof. Maksymowicz and his team, carried out four operations of that kind at University Hospital in Olsztyn, passing at the same time his knowledge and experience onto Polish medical doctors. The project is continued in co-operation with USK in Olsztyn and Warminsko-Mazurski University in Olsztyn. We have obtained the acceptance for 15 such operations from bio-ethical commission. The patients in coma (with minimal consciousness) are qualified for such operations. They were of experimental character and were totally financed by our Foundation. After medical analysis how effective the method was (after 15 operations), we will try to include the method into the health-care system in Poland so that it could be available to all those in need.

At the moment we are beginning to take steps to launch the next experimental programmes for the patients in coma for instance making use of stem cells. Two day scientific conference in December 2017, was devoted to this subject. The lectures were delivered by distinguished specialists working on analysis and usage of stem cells in treating various neurodegenerative diseases, from USA, Japan, Argentina, Germany, Italy and Poland. Our conference was the platform were  scientists and medical doctors, met and exchanged knowledge and experience.