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Spinal Cord Implants Brings Hope for Paralyzed People

Esha Brar

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In Homosassa, Florida, Kelly Thomas is finally able to walk again after being paralyzed from a car accident thanks to the hard work of the research teams at the University of Louisville, and Mayo Clinic, who later on discussed the results of this experiment to Nature Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine. Out of the fourteen patients in this study, Kelly, 24 years of age, was one of them. This study incorporated the insertion of a device that allowed sensation between the nerve cells in the brain and the leg muscles to occur. This study allowed and proved the drastic increase in scientific-technological advancement that is occurring each and every day.

At the age of 19, Thomas experienced a tragic car accident, and because of this, was paralyzed from the chest down. As a result of her truck almost flipping four times and smashing into a tree, Thomas suffered from not being able to move her legs after the incident occurred. After waking up a few weeks later in the hospital, Thomas was extremely devastated to find that she would never be able to walk again and her neurosurgeon had lost all hope, until now, when the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research reached out to Thomas with a study. In the study, it was discovered that out of the four patients having no voluntary movement below where their injury had occurred were able to gain the ability to walk after the placement of the medical device, as well as extensive and a vast amount of physical therapy. The study incorporated 14 paralyzed people who had received what is known as the “epidural stimulator,” which allows nerve cells to be able to communicate with brain cells and send messages. With this new treatment method, all 14 patients were able to gain some sort of voluntary movement, as well as better bladder and bowel movement, and a general better lifestyle of living.

Because of this new medical treatment, Thomas is able to pursue one of her favorite childhood hobbies, horse-back riding. Thomas was also able to improve her bladder control and had regained her muscle control. The nerve pain that she struggled to deal with had also disappeared. Not only has Thomas regained her muscle movement, but she also developed an enormous amount of courage that she had lost after her accident. Other patients like Thomas, such as Jeff Marquis and Jered Chinnock are also able to walk again, and finally, have everything they desire. Overall, thanks to this study, those who are paralyzed will eventually be able to regain their ability to walk and proves that one should always have hope.

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Spinal Cord Implants Brings Hope for Paralyzed People